I Faced Homophobic & Transphobic Street Harassment in Petworth

Location: Kansas Ave. between Blair Rd. and 3rd St., NW (Petworth)
Time: Evening Rush Hour (3:30P-7:30P)

Around 6pm on Saturday, June 25, I was riding my bike in the bike lane along Kansas Avenue on my way to Columbia Heights from Takoma. As I passed through the intersection of Kansas Ave. and Blair Rd., NW, a car full of young men passed me, and one of the passengers screamed at me out the car window. I didn’t catch everything he said, but I definitely heard “kill” and “f***ing fag.” I shook it off and kept riding, only to end up next to the same car at the intersection of Kansas and 3rd.

I avoided eye contact and hung back a bit, but one of the men screamed out the window again, “I thought I told you to get off the road, faggot!” The light turned green, and the car sped off and turned onto 3rd St. I continued on Kansas, shaken and furious, wondering why these men felt compelled to lash out at me. The incident was particularly upsetting because I am transgender (FTM), and although people generally read me as a straight man, I do identify as queer.

Submitted by Anonymous

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Submit your story to help raise awareness about the pervasiveness and harmful effects of street harassment. All submissions are posted anonymously unless otherwise specified.

If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system: Whether the event is happening at the moment or occurred months ago, we strongly encourage you to report to Metro Transit Police (MTP): www.wmata.com/harassment or 202-962-2121. Reporting helps identify suspects as well as commons trends in harassment. Recommended tip: Program MTP’s number into your phone so you can easily reach them when needed. If you need assistance in coping with public sexual harassment or assault, please contact the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) 24/7 crisis hotline at 202-333-RAPE (202-333-7279). 

2 Responses

  1. cathy

    that must have been very frightening, i’m so sorry. it’s always hard to tell if they’re just using the f word as a general pejorative or if you’ve been identified or read in some way. mostly you can count on some people just being nasty and reprehensible. i hope you’re feeling all right, especially on your ride.

  2. Ashley Jackson-Cooper

    I’m sorry that happened to you! That’s awful and traumatizing.