HOLLA ON THE GO: “A man’s opinion: never above a femme’s comfort”

Last night as I was walking home at around 9:30pm, I walked past a white, middle aged man (who looked like he was in his 60s), who fawned, “You’re SO beautiful.” I looked back at him and said, “I didn’t ask for your opinion on my looks.”

He replied, “Well, I thought I’d tell you anyway.” I shook my head at him, turned my back on him, and kept walking, to which he replied, “Have a good night” and said, “she’s so beautiful.”

I’m still seething from this incident last night, because 1. He used the wrong pronouns for me (I’m a non-binary femme and they/them are my pronouns); and 2. He was fucking arrogant for placing his opinion (and his apparent need to state it) above my comfort and feelings.

I regularly face sexist street harassment laced with racism as a femme of color, and in these situations, I always feel like I never did enough / I could’ve said more. I’m trying to tell myself that my message was clear to him (“I didn’t ask for your opinion”) and my disapproval was clear (from my shaking my head).