Even after being a male ally/supporter of Holla Back DC! for nearly two years now, I don’t know why I still second-guess myself when it comes to the fact that even I get cat-called and harassed. But I’m submitting this to the blog to again remind folks out there that street harassment is real, and affects many of us in the community.
And, it’s affected me four times in less than 24 hours.
I was en route to grab a drink and check out the Pride festivities last night when I walked by a man in a full suit yesterday in Dupont Circle who blurted out “Damn, you sexy” — before arriving at my destination, where I was at one point blocked in a doorway by a guy who let “Fuck” linger out of his mouth a little too long for me to be comfortable as I pushed myself past him.
But it didn’t stop there. On my way home, another guy tried to stop me and engage me on U and 14th Streets NW.
And just a moment ago, as I was headed back to my apartment after an appointment, I overheard a guy on a cell phone say “You look good” as I passed. When his words registered with me, I turned back and saw him staring at me. “You heard me,” he added with a sickening smile.
Though I didn’t feel like my immediate safety was being compromised, I still felt the effects of being harassed on the street — just for being. I don’t know why anybody thinks it’s OK to treat someone else without dignity or respect, especially as they’re going about their business in their daily life without trying to draw attention to themselves.
Sadly, I didn’t get to “holla back” at my harassers and give them a piece of my mind, so instead I just want to tell everyone who is reading this to remember that street harassment affects all members of the community, even guys. We all have to actively engage in pushing this as a viable issue worth discussing — and worth addressing.
That’s why I’m glad to be attending the Our Streets, Too! march against street harassment on June 26 <http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=198585176854451>. I’m glad to be taking back our streets, side-by-side with countless others who agree with me that harassment of our community’s members will not be tolerated. I hope you’ll join us.
Because they’re our streets, too.