Public Harassment: I was at the grocery store..

I was at the grocery store and a worker got really close to me and said, “Excuse me.“ Then he said, “That’s a really pretty dress.”

The same day I was at the gas station and I heard someone saying something to me as I was pumping gas. I turned around and he was saying, “Can I pump your gas? Can I pay for your gas? You’re so beautiful. Can I pay for your gas?” And then right after that I saw a man across the street waving at me with a big grin on his face.

I sit here feeling totally powerless. I can’t seem to shake it off. It’s not what they said that hurt me, it was the look in their eyes. It was the tone of their voices. As though I am a mindless dumb person in need of their “flattery.”

I want people to know that these comments were not flattering. They were humiliating, debilitating and dehumanizing attacks on my dignity.

I wish the people who said these things to me could see me crying days later. They have probably forgotten by now, but I will never forget. These are just a few more instances of harassment that now live crystal clear, in my memory.