Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
Two episodes of aggressive, shitty street harassment.
First, outside the Blue Line, this big mean looking dude took off his too-dark shades, wolf-whistled, and started walking towards me. To which I responded “can I fucking HELP YOU?” To which he responded with lots of mean aggressive things (including, but not limited to, calling me a fat bitch and using lots of homophobic slurs). And I just started walking away quickly. Fortunately he didn’t follow me into the train station.
Next, on my way home and right on that same street, some dude did that weird catcall that sounds like they’re calling a dog from his car. I, learning from my earlier lesson, didn’t get aggressive in response and instead just meanmugged as he drove past. He apparently took that as an invitation because he circled the fucking block in his red pick up truck and eventually ended up driving along side me, resuming his catcalling.
This is the point wherein I lost it. I flicked him off and started screaming about he can go to hell and should suck my dick. My face was bright red and I was gesturing aggressively at his car. It was like I was fucking possessed.
Then I saw him do what looked like he was starting to leave his car and it snapped me back to my senses. Fortunately it was a hell of busy street in the middle of the afternoon and all I had to do was walk slowly towards a group of people.
I don’t think that he actually got out of his car but I sure as hell felt weird going home. I actually got into my car and drove around for a bit before I went into my apartment. I know that I’m safe now but my heart is still pounding. I’m so mad, I’m so upset, I feel actually physically dirty.
This was fourteen years ago, the fall of 1997. I was nineteen. I was on a date with a girl, walking along the boardwalk – it’s one of the more romantic places in our small city. We found a nice spot to look out over the lake, and sat there talking quietly. We leaned in and began kissing, just an innocent kiss. Not a minute later, some slimebag scared the living hell out of us – he had to sneak up behind us of course – by saying stuff to the effect of, “Wow, do you two want some company? Y’all look good, a couple hot little white girls, you want some big dick to keep you company?” And just on and on.
What pisses me off the most, even after all these years, is that it was our first kiss – my first real kiss with a girl, even – and it was completely ruined. Luckily, my date took me by the hand and we walked to the car, even though I wanted to run. She kept telling me it was okay, that he was just some asshole, that we were okay. But I will hate that crusty old creep for the rest of my life. At the time, it felt like he took maybe the one good thing going in my life and cheapened it, made it a bad memory instead.
Wow, I thought I was over this. Just goes to show you how long those old wounds stay with you. I suppose I’m lucky that he didn’t pursue us or attack us, but I felt, still feel, violated all the same.
There are so many incidents I don’t even know where to start, or when it even really all started.
In high school my sophomore year it got around that I was bisexual after some nasty girl found out that I was dating another girl at school. Walking home with her one day we were confronted by a group of guys from our school. They followed us for blocks saying obscene things and trying to get us to “let them show us what it’s like to be with real men since we obviously had never been with any man with a big enough cock.” and asking us how we like being ate out since, y’know, we pee out of there. i got so fed up with it and turned around and asked them if they liked it when their girlfriends gave them head because “y’know, you piss out of that.” After that they just kind of left us alone.
That was the first real time I stood up for myself when it was happening. I was so freaked out.
A few years later (this was right after I’d turned 18 and moved to another town) I was walking to my boyfriend’s work down the road about 12 blocks from where we lived and this group of guys were following me. At this point I was so used to stuff like this that i’d taken to carrying something called a “Stinger” (it’s basically an extendable metal rod with a ball on the tip and a large rubber grip for a handle) with me whenever I walked alone. They just kept leering at me and whistling, making loud comments about my “curves” and my “sway” and talking loudly about how’d they’d “tap that”. At one point they were following too close for comfort and several times it felt like they were trying to sniff my hair or grab my ass. Fed up with it I finally turned around and asked them what they wanted, as I did so I sneakily took my “stinger” out of it’s belt holder (which was hidden under my shirt). When they went to answer one said something like “We just want your attention sweetheart.” some other guy said “You’re so juicy, we just can’t resist.” I flicked the rod out so that it extended out to my side and I glared at them and said “Well, I don’t want yours.” They kind of freaked out and backed away from me. They never bothered me again.
It feels good to be able to do the same thing to them that they do to us women daily: Have some sort of power over them by scaring the crap out of them. It’s a nice turn of the tables, to make them feel like we do every time they do that kind of stuff to us, but at the same time I still think it’s sad that I’ve had to resort to carrying something so dangerous (and I think technically even illegal to own in my state) in order to make sure I can protect myself because stuff like this happens all of the time.
This happened the day before spring break, before I found this site, and I feel terrible for not saying something.
I’m new at my school, so I don’t get a lot of attention, which is a good thing. I was sitting next to this girl, looking out the window, minding my own business, when I overhear a guy in the seat behind me say, “Hey girl, you wanna get with this?” The girl sitting next to me said, “No, thanks,” and turned back around. For the rest of the ride, he kept asking her if she wanted to have sex with him, how big his penis was, and at one point he even said, “What, you a lesbo or something?” She kept quietly saying, “No,” but he wouldn’t leave her alone. I wanted so badly to turn to her and say, “You don’t have to put up with this, there’s an empty seat up front, you can move,” but I was just too afraid. He kept harassing her the whole ride, even as I was getting off.
I really wish I had said something, but now I promise myself that the next time I see another woman being harassed, I will stand up and I will speak.
Well my story’s a bit different from most, you see I’m intersexed basically i have a tomboyish face and well some biological female parts and for the last few years on and off I’ve had rednecks in the area who would scream at me “FAGGOT.” Now i also have a physical handicap walking is hard for me at times and the harassment does get bad from time to time, and this also happened last summer when I’d gone to Myrtle Beach, SC. When I was down there heading up the street at the beach i got catcalled by a man, “Hey, FAG nice purse.” I screamed back “at least I’m NOT a doucheBAG” at him. I’m getting better about being comfortable in my own skin, though sometimes it just HURTS
About 3:25 after school one day my friend calls me up so that I can come over and work on homework with her. So I grab my backpack and walk out the door and start walking over. My road goes up to the top of a hill then splits off to right which was where I was heading. When you go to the right it leads to a separate neighborhood which was where my friend lived. I took the right turn(walking) and began to walk down the road which was a straight shot to my friends house. As I got further and further down the road a white car passed me up. This neighborhood is notorious for having drive by harassments and I hoped to God that this was not going to be the case. Luckily it wasn’t. Then about 30 meters down the road another car is coming. It was a 1995 Mercury La Baron. In the car were two teenage dudes, one was a punk-boy wannabe. The other was a hick wannabe (odd combination, I know) So anyways the car drove by and yelled out the window and called me a fag…..”WELL THEN!”. So after that I simply flipped the mother f*ckers off, because they deserved it. But I regretted it shortly afterwards. They drove up to the end of the road and turned around and started speeding toward me. I calmly moved to the side of the road into someones yard. The car drove at me going about 50 in a 15mph zone. The hick wannabe opened the passenger door and tried to hit me. He missed, and the bastards drove off. About 10 minutes later as I got closer to my friends house the car pulled out of an intersection. Coming from straight ahead now the car followed the speed limit but this time rather than trying to hit me with his car, he threw an opened bottle of Dr. Pepper at me. Just like before he missed his target. Though the harassment was a complete failure in terms of actually affecting me, it was still annoying so I called the cops and the kids car was being watched by multiple police in the town. Word got out to the kid and he told his dad about it. So his dad got rid of the car as soon as possible so they would have no problems. You see I won because the kid lost his car and now has to ride the bus with me. I hope this bastard is ready
Submitted by Cody
I was riding the train with my then-partner on the way to see a movie in town, when this happened. As we boarded the train, a conductor went up to these four kids, and warned them for disruptive behaviour. My partner and I took seats near them (which looking back seems like the first mistake) and settled for the short journey. We were sitting talking, and randomly poking each other, which is usual for us, and the four kids continued shouting and messing around.
One of the girls sat behind us and asked my partner for some gum. She said she didn’t have any, though the girl remained where she sat. She then asked if we were together. My partner and I, having nothing to hide or be ashamed of, replied that we were. The one boy in the group asked if we were in love, and my partner replied the affirmative.
It descended from there. The boy joined the girl behind us and kept asking for us to kiss for him. He kept pushing, and nearly begging for us to. My partner replied no, first jokingly, and then she eventually snapped “If you want to see two girls kissing, watch porn!”.
He whined that he had seen porn and he wanted to see it in real life – I continued to remain silent. The coach we were in was not nearly empty, and I was somewhat horrified that no one had thought to do anything but look away awkwardly. Thankfully, the next stop was ours. We stood, and I followed my partner to the door. The group followed us, and as we were waiting, they kept pushing on each other, and therefore me. Once the doors opened, a lot of people got out, while this group practically pushed me off the train. My partner took my hand and while I set off at a fast pace to get away, she slowed me down.
The boy continued to follow us, and kept on with his incessant begging. My partner and I ignored him, and spoke only to each other, until he peeled off to join the girls of his group. We were left alone after that.
I am ashamed that I didn’t speak up, and that my partner was the one to deal with this harassment. I remember this incident clearly, and feel scared by it, but it was almost laughable how this boy was clearly obsessed about seeing us kiss.
Get it through your heads – we do not exist for your amusement. We are not objects to stare at, or to entertain yourself with. We are humans, with hearts and souls and feelings, and I will not be dehumanised by your fetishisms. I refuse.
Submitted by Emma
I’m walking down the sidewalk holding hands with my girlfriend when a guy sitting at a cafe table yells, “Satan lives!” My girl sez, “yeah, he does!” and we keep walking.
Submitted by Dragonfly
A little over two years ago, I was the target of three strangers whose attack on me started as a barrage of contradictory insults and “compliments” and soon led to rape. The men initially noticed me because I was wearing a shirt that identified me as gay. Coming from a radically conservative town where almost everyone knew me, especially after I came out, I rarely experienced street harassment from people who I didn’t know. This experience was a first for me on many fronts and has scarred me from all directions and in all aspects of my life. From then on, any time anyone made a comment about me in the halls of my high school or while I was walking around town, I felt utterly powerless and would often have flashbacks. I came upon the Holla Back New York blog a while ago and was inspired by the tools the site offered for ending street harassment. After attending a workshop on how to holla back this year, I’ve been considering starting a Holla Back site for the area surrounding my college. This journey has not been without obstacles, however.
The idea of me starting a Holla Back blog by myself is something that scares me. During high school, I was active in efforts to end harassment of LGBTQ youth and was often the target of a great deal of hate. Having moved from my small conservative hometown to college in a really liberal area, I feel that I’ve just recently become a less visible target and am not willing to risk that sense of comfort. To split the weight of my decision to Holla Back, I began searching for a partner. This search, thus far, has turned out empty. The friends I have talked to about partnering with me for a project like this have found the idea of a Holla Back blog to be problematic for differing reasons which I don’t necessarily agree with but don’t want to repeat here because I think I would express their opinions differently than they would.
I guess the point of my writing this post is sort of the old “there’s power in numbers” speech. When fear is shared, it’s lessened. When we are there for each other, start projects together, march side by side, we feel stronger and can do more. I don’t feel that those I asked to help me were wrong in choosing not to, but I think that if someone in your community is trying to start something and you think it’s a good idea, join them. The more of us holla back, the louder we are, which would be nice because I’m tired of all this silence.
I am a Bisexual Asian male who has experienced extreme harassment. My neighbor, the elderly man next door– Slandered, harassed and sexually harassed me for 2 years since I moved here from California. At first, when I got here, I was really thin and looked like a girl to most people. He told me he wanted to give me a sex change operation and rape me. For the next several months he slandered me, spread rumors I was a rapist, sex offender, child molester and people called me that in the neighborhood and on the train a few times. He was angry that I was a guy and not a girl and that I was making him gay. When I joined meetup.com and come home late at night, he would wait in front of my house every night ‘til I stop going. I saw him half naked filming me twice from his 3rd floor window a few months ago when I opened my blinds in the morning and I dare not to open my blinds in the morning anymore. People gossiped about seeing videos of me naked or me sleeping, etc in my bedroom on some pervert website. I overheard people talking in Chinatown and on the set of Fordham University during my filming of the “adjustment bureau” a Matt Damon movie where I worked as an extra.
Recently, He and his friends were yelling they want to castrate me, rape me. They called me a queer, fag and chink 2 weeks ago outside my house, heckling me.
I am a victim of racism and sexual harassment. I filed a harassment report by calling 911 on December 10, 2009 Thursday around 9:45PM when 2 female police officers drove to my house and alerted me to come outside to talk to them. The two female police officers is a female Black woman and a Spanish woman. I was told to call 718-627-6611 for Precinct 61 for the status of my complaint. I called again on December 15, 2009 and the officer who answered the phone said the complaint is closed and is on record and no arrests was made because my neighbor harassed me but didn’t assault me. I wrote to NBC news but to no avail. I don’t know who to turn to for help. I am a victim of sexual harassment and video voyeurism and slander and I think he is trying to get me killed because I look feminine and because of my sexual orientation. If this happened to a woman he work be arrested by now, but I am a guy, a bisexual guy and no one cares. I want the harassment to stop.
Submitted by Michael