Washington, DC

I was dismayed to receive the following note from a very good friend of mine:

“Yesterday my fiancée and I walked out of Whole Foods with our arms around each other, and when we stopped at the intersection of 15th and P to wait for the light to change, I kissed her cheek. Behind us, a man commently loudly, “you shouldn’t do that in public.” Upon turning around to gauge whether he was serious or joking, the woman with him laughed and said “he’s just jealous.” As we started to walk across the street, we heard the same voice, this time with unmistakable disgust say, “you’re a waste of two good women.”

This is not the first time a passerby has felt it was his right (thus far, comments have only come from men) to insult us because we are two women walking hand-in-hand, yet every time it happens, it catches me off guard. My initial reaction has always been that the person must be joking or that I must not have heard him correctly.

By the time we got home I was holding back tears – tears of hurt, yes, but also of frustration that I hadn’t realized he was serious earlier than I did and that I hadn’t had a witty comeback to throw at him so that he might have left that corner the one who was embarrassed.

So my question to the PoP readers is: What would you have said in this situation (if you were me, or one of the 5 or 6 other people also waiting on that corner)? Has a similar situation ever happened to you?”


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