Combating LGBT street harassment one conversation at a time

TRIGGER WARNING: This article, or pages it links to, contains descriptions which may be triggering to survivors, including street harassment, sexual harassment and assault, public masturbation, and threats of transphobic and transmisogynistic violence.

"I was only 12 the first time it happened to me."

"I saw him masturbating and smiling to me."

"He grabbed me by the hips and he pressed himself into me."

In order to combat offensive derisions such as these and contribute to the national conversation on street harassment, Charlie Marion Kerr, the co-chair of The Trevor Project's Youth Advisory Council, has released Conversations About Street Harassment.

Conversations About Street Harassment is an interview series that was four months in the making for Kerr, who also is the creator and chief administrator of Trans Across America. The first in the Conversations series explores a diverse group of young peoples' (many of them trans) experiences with street harassment. The project was recently launched as both a YouTube channel and a Facebook page.

"Street harassment is a form of social discipline, a form of social policing."

Street harassment has become a hot topic of conversation as of late given the rise of videos – ranging from the comical to the serious and provocative – documenting the prevalence of street harassment today. And it is an issue that impacts everyone. In their National Street Harassment Report, Stop Street Harassment, a non-profit dedicated to documenting and ending gender-based street harassment worldwide, found that LGBT men are 20 percent more likely to experience verbal harassment and 17 percent more likely to experience physically aggressive harassment than men who are not LGBT. The survey also found that over 60 percent of women have experienced street harassment at some point in their lives and that transgender individuals face particularly high rates of public discrimination.

"Being harassed every day, no matter if it's for your race, for your gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, what have you, it takes a toll and it really shapes the way you see the world and how much you can trust other people."

Share Conversations About Street Harassment's first video with your friends and loved ones, and start a conversation about street harassment's effect on your life and how we can end it. Be sure to keep an eye on their pages for news and updates on possible future installments of Conversations About Street Harassment.