Exposing Male Violence Against Lesbians

7. Anonymous – 20/03/2021

I have a few MeToo stories.

Some of them happened in college, when I was pretending to be straight, so they don't have anything to do with my homosexuality. Man #1 held me down on a bed and pretended he was going to rape me, then laughed it off. Man #2 actually sexually assaulted me. Man #1 heard about it, cornered me at a party, and used it as an excuse to take charge of me for a night, making me dance with him, insisting on walking me home (with his hand clamped around my wrist), steering me to his place instead of mine and trying to pull me inside to "make me feel better." I managed to de-escalate and insist he walk me home. I had to pry his hand off my wrist at the door.

The lesbian-related ones:

After college, I lived in a frat boy neighborhood in a small town in a red state. I experienced constant low-level street harassment there while I was performing femininity; when I started dressing in men's clothes and shaved my head the harassment exploded. I was called a dyke etc. every other day, and I was grabbed three or four times by men. Once as I was walking to the grocery store (in broad daylight) a man jumped into my path and would not let me pass him. Another man threw a (thankfully empty) soft drink cup out of a pickup truck's window at me. This was a really bad neighborhood, obviously, and I often had to walk home alone after dark. The harassment was controlling major parts of my life (my mental health and my ability to take part in public life).

I was working on a college campus at the time. One of my coworkers was a straight man ("T") who was calling himself non-binary and preached gender ideology to all of us 24/7. He had all the self-described feminists in the workplace wrapped around his finger, including me for a while. He was always pushing boundaries, talking about sex at work, making stereotypical/sexist comments. As I slowly got more butch-looking, he latched onto me and started suggesting that I was non-binary, too.

About six months after I got there and met T, I went to a bar with him. He was dressed in men's clothes with a slightly alternative hairstyle. After midnight, I asked him to walk me home, and he goes, "Oh, you're a strong woman, you'll be fine, and as a vulnerable trans person I can't risk my safety like that." (T was, just to be clear, a man wearing men's clothes, who didn't even look stereotypically gay, who would not have been in any danger in my neighborhood, and who knew how afraid I was of that neighborhood.)

That was the night I got followed home by two men mocking me and openly threatening to rape me. I managed to lose them before I got home, but I was terrified for several days afterward that I hadn't actually lost them, that maybe they'd seen where I lived and were going to come back, or that I would run into them by accident again.

The day after, I told T what happened when I was walking home alone, and he laughed and said, "Men, right?" and that was the end of the conversation. That night scared me more than the arguably worse things that happened in college, and T's reaction was a big part of what made me snap out of the gender brainwashing.