Dear John: You Are Gross (f/25)

Once I was heading home from a pub in Chinatown on a Saturday night. I knew the neighbourhood after having worked at a coffee shop nearby for years, and was fairly confident waiting for the night bus near Main and Hastings. However, it was past 1am, and I was a little on edge about waiting at the bus stop for an indefinite amount of time, but all the coffee shops in the area were closed and I didn’t have money for a cab. While waiting, a middle-aged man approached me and asked while wearing a big smile, “Are you available for a date?” meaning, was I a sex worker. A fair question in this neighbourhood, so I said “No” confidently, expecting him to leave. However, his continued presence and creepy smile indicated he didn’t really care if I was a sex worker or not, he just wanted to stick around and freak me out.His smile/staring didn’t stop, and eventually I felt too unsafe/uncomfortable to hang out at the stop with him so I hailed a cab and racked up a $20 charge on my credit card that I shouldn’t have. Fun.

 

**mod’s note: Technically, a bus stop is part of the public street, and isn’t exactly TransLink property, but we feel it is still a relevant context. The fact remains that a harasser’s determination meant that someone had to alter how they planned to use the bus system on this particular evening.

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