I met a really awesome girl the other day who I’d been talking to online. She’s actually lived in her car a lot too and has just been very much of a gypsy. I thought that was really cool. I’m always happy to meet people who are cool with the fact that I live in my car and who understand that kind of living.
So we were walking and I saw this dude. I immediately felt afraid and thought he would follow us and sure enough, he began following. There was no one else around. I was freaked! He started saying “You gay or what? You girlfriends or what?” I had no idea what to do. I just kind of shut down inside and it felt like a dream to me. Thankfully she was able to just calmly talk to him. Finally, after she said we were friends, he asked if she had a boyfriend. She lied and said yes. As soon as she said that, his tone changed, he became respectful, shook her hand and asked her name, then left. It was crazy!
I can’t understand why people are the way they are. What is so threatening about two queers walking down a trail? But I guess I have to deal with that that’s the world we live in for now. It really scared me. I don’t want to lie about who I am to protect myself.
It made a lot of things come up in my mind. One is, did he sense my fear and is that why he followed us? That frightens me because I do tend to wonder if predators sense that I am prey. I also felt badly because I instinctively stepped back behind her. When I realized it, I stepped up more beside her again because I don’t want to be someone who protects myself and lets someone else get hurt. But someone who I told pointed out that maybe it was because I could sense that she knew better how to handle the situation that I did. I don’t know. It was all such a fog and I just couldn’t think real well. I remember it kind of floating on the edge of my consciousness that I had pepper spray with me, but it was like I was so disconnected from my brain that I didn’t get it in my hand or anything. I couldn’t act on it. Very disconcerting.
I still enjoyed the rest of the time hanging out with her, but once she left I started shaking and realized it had affected me way more than I realized. I just hid it while she was still there. Thankfully I had a good crisis line to call as well as a friend and then I felt a lot better.