Sexual harassment

As a boy/young adult growing up I experienced what is called sexual harassment many times. There were older adults who basically hit on me – wanted to have sex with me. I was never violated by any of these people and I don’t consider the experiences to have been traumatic. More disappointing. When you’re friends with an older person and you have a level of camaraderie and trust with them, it’s a let down that they might be interested in being your friend not because of your personality, but because of physical urges.

I was also sexually harassed as a young boy in gradeschool by other students. I remember at least one student who would grab my hand and force it over his genitals. At the time I didn’t even really understand what he was doing or what it meant other than it being physical harassment. I was also humiliated and spit on almost daily. I would say those experiences were damaging, but less in a sexual way than in a bullying kind of way.

I’ve never been raped, but my first relationship was with a woman who had been raped and I feel that it also affected me and kind of fucked me up. I think rape has wide-reaching consequences. It seems like something too extreme for me to handle and I would probably choose to not ever date nor want to have any relationship with a person who has been raped because it would be too traumatic to me.

In fact I believe living in a community or society in which there is a high incidence of rape is damaging. It means that you will inadvertently have interactions with people who have been raped, and thus be affected by it. I would rather choose to not live in a society like this. If I had some magic vision power I would choose to live somewhere where rape was uncommon.

I have also been sexually harassed as a transgender, including being deliberately called with pronouns not matching my gender for the sake of insulting/abusing me, having explicit remarks made about my genitalia, being deliberately humiliated in front of others, treated like a zoo animal by people in public, being ogled, and harassed. Some of it was institutional.

Of all the things I’ve experienced I would actually consider the come-ons by older adults when I was younger as the least upsetting things. The explicit humiliation and harassment of me because of my being transgender is definitely the worst.