“I was kind of harassed a little bit earlier today, literally like five minutes ago, and it’s still kind of festering in me,” she begins. “I don’t know how to feel. I wasn’t scared, but I was bothered because the guy who harassed me first made a pass at me, and then when he found out I was trans, there was a problem. I didn’t pose any threat to this man, I didn’t flirt with him. I didn’t do any of that stuff. I actually told him I had a boyfriend because I didn’t want to be bothered.”
Next, Rodriguez brings up a great point: Trans women are unable to protect themselves in these situations, and if they try to, they can be targeted with more abuse or violence.
“For starters, it’s almost a lose-lose situation for women like me because if we say something out of pocket, then they want to punch us,” she says. “If we don’t say anything that’s out of pocket and we are trying to alleviate the situation, then they want to punch you. I’m trying to figure out how do we deal with men who are like this who don’t know how to address us because they find us attractive?”
MJ Rodriguez says that while the harassment itself upset her, what really angered her was that no one nearby interfered to defend her.
“I handled myself very well which was trying to get him away, but what angered me was that no one [helped me], they sat and watched him harass me,” she shares. “They watched how I got harassed. He asked me about my genitalia and asked what was between my legs and I didn’t feel comfortable with that. And the fact that people hear things like and don’t say anything or stand up for me?”
“‘I’m really angry about it.”