demonstration, public masturbation, Story, transphobic, Verbal

Grateful’s Story: “She saved a complete stranger”

I was on the tube when I noticed a man eyeing me up, he was attractive so I didn’t mind. I got off the tube and noticed him following me. Later I noticed him playing with himself from afar. I walked faster until I couldn’t see him anymore but not being familiar with the area meant that he had cornered me to say “stop teasing me.”

I heard a lady asking if I knew this man. I told her “no” and watched her expertly tell him to leave me alone and said she was not going to let him get away with this harassment and saw him run away with fear as she stood her ground.
Funnily enough I already knew of Ana Maddock. I knew she was well educated, had a career she kept private from her online life, she was friends with a semi-famous crowd. I already wanted to be like her before she saved me. She saved a complete stranger from being harassed and went on with her day to day life and I think that’s astonishing.

Thank you Ana Karina Maddock.
You did what I could only dream of doing.

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47+

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transphobic, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: Not an “it”

I was with a group of friends and this girl referred to my other friend using “it”. It turned out this friend might be trans and the friend knew that when she said what she said.

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17+

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Story, The Webinar Series, transphobic, Verbal

Melissa’s Story: #harassmentis response

Hi. I am a pre-op transsexual woman living in West Hartford, Connecticut. I shared my story in 2011 and shared a follow up story this year (2013).

I was reading Hollaback’s #HarassmentIs and felt inspired to share more experiences.

Ableism-

I was pumping gas at a local gas station when a young man pumping gas in front of me read that I looked like I didn’t work. He turned to another young man, whom he did not know, who was at a different pump and said, loudly, “How was work?” To which the other young man replied, sarcastically, “Oh, It was great.”

I was at the local post office and accidentally, momentarily, messed my transaction up while there were several people waiting. While my transaction resolved itself, two men, at least one of them younger, who were behind me in line, were able to finish before me. When I got back to my car, someone had put an additional 4 quarters in my parking meter. Evidently, they somehow knew which car was mine, which felt creepy, because they had to be watching or keeping track of me getting out of my car, which is bizarre, because who does that?

Classism –

In #HarassmentIs only one page was devoted to street harassment based on class, and it only talked about people who are, or are perceived to be wealthy, harassing people who are, or who are perceived to be poor.

I look like I have money and I have received a tremendous amount of verbal abuse (in a predominantly wealthy area), for being perceived to have wealth.

Two weeks ago, I made a trip to West Hartford center on a Monday mid-afternoon. It is a place where wealthy appearing women will occasionally walk around. I got out of my car, put a couple of quarters in my meter and began walking toward Starbucks. I had not planned to go inside and was going to walk by and, eventually, cross the street. Less than halfway to Starbucks I came upon a man who was already harassing a woman because she had a nice car (black Lexus? SUV). She was responding to him, it seemed she was trying to comfort him. When I encountered him he was saying to her in a very loud and angry tone of voice “thousand dollar a month car!” Then he saw me and his eyes went to my shoes, which were nice booties and he became even more angry the moment he looked at my shoes. He turned back to her and said, even louder. “Thousand dollar a month car payment, thousand dollar a month (unintelligible)! You’ve got car insurance, health insurance, while the rest of us are eating popcorn. By this time I was pretty distant, and he called after me – “Yeah, keep walking!” Needless to say my trip to West Hartford center was very short. Just before I got into my car I saw him sitting himself down angrily outside Starbucks.

In 2010 I was at the cafe at Barnes and Noble and I sat down in the back of the cafe to read. As soon as I sat down, a man who was seated diagonally across from me, who was talking with a woman, bristled. He was looking at me and he said, loudly, “Spain. Yeah Spain’s got problems. My mother in law is from Spain.” He kept talking and getting louder and I had to leave the cafe.

Also in 2010 I had three separate experiences which were so similar they were shocking. In May, I was in West Hartford center and a young man who was with another  man said loudly to me “That’s not real!” In August I was at the DMV in a neighboring town and a young woman who was with her male partner said, as she passed me, “That’s unreal.” Lastly, sometime later in the fall, a young man working at Whole Foods, said to me as he saw me “Is that real?”

– to clarify – Yes. It’s real.

I was in Blue Back Square on a Sunday recently and I sat down on an out of the way bench. A car of young boys drove by and I heard one of them shout “It looks like you have a secret life!” And then drive on.

Earlier this year I was at the Barnes and Noble cafe (which I do not go to any longer) and an unstable woman had an outburst. She perceived me to be gay (which I’m not), and started asking an employee if he was going to be a “Boy Scout troop leader?” He played along with her and offered “Did I tell you that I’m rich?”

– I think what is interesting about the harassment based on classism is that a few years ago I blended right in, wearing some of the same clothes. Everyone here looked like they had money (whether they actually did or not) and no one ever bothered me for looking like I had money. Recently I’ve received a tremendous amount of flak for at least appearing to be wealthy. So it was understandable that when I read the #HarassmentIs booklet that Hollaback depicted examples of wealthy people harassing poorer people, however, it ran completely contrary to my experiences. I have never harassed someone verbally, for any reason.

Gender Identity Photo-Op –

As I said, I am a pre-op transsexual woman, so I dress the part. I have a wonderful wardrobe with lots of shoes, beautiful dresses, a fair amount of jewelry and plenty of color.

I have had my photo taken, with my knowledge (but without my consent), 5 different times.

One was a photo taken by a young teenage girl from a car that she asked her friend to slow down as I walked down the street.

A second was a young twenty-something taking my photo as I sat near a statue in West Hartford Center.

A third was another young twenty-something taking my picture as I sat on a bench in West Hartford center.

A fourth was, yet another young twenty-something, taking my photo at the same spot as the previous.

Lastly, this Sunday a grown, middle-aged woman snapped a photo with flash in Blue Back Square. She was with her family. (I hear it’s a great way to teach the kids).

– It is interesting to note that all of the people who took my photo (over the last 3 years) were women, and four of them were twenty-something or younger.

I must be a Facebook celebrity, but I don’t know it.

I wanted to write these things because that is what came to mind after reading #HarassmentIs. I think that our current culture is about punishment and critical judgement of others. When a person doesn’t fit in to generalized norms, they are immediately criticized, judged and then punished.

Speaking for myself, I am just trying to relax.

It does not matter where you are or what you are trying to do, you shouldn’t be punished for it, unless it causes avoidable harm to others.

I am very sorry for my length, and I hope you can include this on your website. Once again, thank you for providing a place to express these things.

Melissa

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25+

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Nonverbal Harassment, Story, transphobic, Verbal

Melissa’s Story: “I shouted back”

Hi. My name is Melissa, I am a transsexual woman, and I wrote my story here to Hollaback! on April 16th, 2011.

I just wanted to share that my story is improving. Since I live in a large suburb, people have come to know me. I have socialized with alot of the neighbors where I walk and run, and I socialize at the places I go. I find that talking to people helps bring me out of the street harassment I was experiencing, and still experience. Yesterday I was finishing a walk and I noticed out of the corner of my eye that a vehicle was exiting its parking space very slowly. I knew it was not a conflict with me and I could tell that it was not in conflict with anyone else, so, immediately I looked inside, and there was a man driving and he was staring at me. He moved his car very slowly and watched me as I walked by. It was creepy and disappointing. So, the harassment is still there, but I feel more positive, and an experience like that, I just brush off. I have had far more scary experiences, like a man following me in his oversize, raised-wheel white pickup truck. He singled me out and followed me in my car for at least a mile to my destination, waiting in the parking lot of the place I was going, and then followed me back almost to my home. We got separated at a light, and I later used the separation to get away from him. I arrived home safely.

I experience these things less now than I did when I wrote in 2011. They are fewer and farther between. I am not sure if it is because I make smarter choices, or because I feel more positive, or if it is because the world around me has changed just enough that people don’t bother me as much. I really don’t know. I do feel better, though.

I cannot imagine living in a city. Reading some of the stories here, I would feel very uncomfortable and very vulnerable in a city. People say a place like New York City you can be whomever you want, but my guess is that the people would eat me alive.

I have had the experience, since writing, of a young man stopping me on the street and shouting at me. I just talked back. I have also had the experience of a very edgy, scary young man shouting at me from across the street. I shouted back. I never saw him again. I have also shared some of these experiences with people where I live and they have shared experiences with me that they have had over the years and so it goes..

I officially changed my name to Melissa about three weeks ago, and have completed every facet of transition that I am capable. I look better than I ever have looked, I feel better than I have felt over the past several years and I am very grateful for your website because I think it should be possible to (dare I say it) – walk down the street without getting harassed.

Thank you,

Melissa

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67+

one comment 
homophobic, Story, transphobic, Verbal

Soph’s Story: Z-Block Bully

During student elections in 2011, an EPIC supporter tried to get me to vote for EPIC just outside the polling booth thingy in Z block. I said basically “lol fuck off”. He then yelled at me “why don’t YOU fuck off you fucking tranny faggot!”

Classy.

I've got your back!
38+

one comment 
Story, transphobic, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: transphobia

Boston university students verbally harassed me. I am a trans girl and they were making fun if my Halloween costume calling me, “he and him.” They said I looked like Gene Simmons of KISS.

I've got your back!
23+

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Story, transphobic, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: Transphobia

I was getting pizza with my friends and this drunk sorority BU girl in her early 20’s intentionally called me, “Sir,” when I am clearly not a sir. I am a trans girl and the comment really bothered me. I responded, “GIRL IN THE PURPLE SHIRT, WHEN YOU MAKE TRANSPHOBIC COMMENTS, THAT’S HARASSMENT. DON’T DO IT.” My friends backed me up and also called her out. She seemed embarrassed afterwards.

I've got your back!
33+

one comment 
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