This happened probably 3 years ago. There was 3 of us…we had to wait 45 minutes, and while waiting 45 mins at the station I could sense some aggravation from 2 women, and 2 younger women. And it was noticeable they were a bit squiffy – a bit drunk. We were interrogated by them. Close and personal. Lots of laughing and pointing and things like that. We tried to ignore it. Bus turns up we get on the bus and one of the people behind…pushed her.
And we sat down in a seat of 4. We tried to keep calm. I was constant ‘it’ ‘tranny’ ‘what it is?’ And Relentless on a bus as well so we couldn’t get off. And for the first time in my life and I retaliated and said ‘I’m ringing the police’.
The bus driver phoned the police as well.
The bus driver stops the bus. Cops get on. I put my hand up and said ‘officer there’s a hate crime’. I’d just had enough of these women. They were just relentless.
I said to one of them ‘this is what equality is about’ and this woman said ‘well I should know I’m an equalities officer’.
We get off the bus. And the women get off the bus and we’re in 2 different camps. The officer comes over and says all they want is an apology. What do you mean? They’re the antagonists. ‘We’ve asked people on the bus. No one is prepared to talk.’ Full bus. Nobody prepared to talk. All they want is to get home. Not one person would back us up.
All 3 of us were sober. Where the other 2 had been drinking. And goading their daughters. It was their daughters as well. So they were goading their daughters to say ‘blah blah blah’.
And then he (police man) arrested one of them. We had to go back to the station we were there for 3 hours.
They were treating it as a hate crime at that point?
Well they had to because I forced the issue. It got the point where I had to make a stand.
How did you feel at the time?
I was very angry. That goading when they’re saying all those things.
Did it have a lasting impact?
Me coming to work the next day I was shell shocked. I had to go home. And it took me a long time, a long time, to get back on a bus.
Did the case -?
The CPS didn’t have enough evidence. No witnesses would come forward. ‘I don’t want to get involved’.
It did effect all 3 of us. It did upset me quite a lot. It took me a long time to get back on a bus.
Why have you agreed to share that experience?
Well why not? It needs to be brought out in the public. A lot of hate crime is not reported. People thinkg I will be at the police station for God knows how long. How are they going to treat me? Did I cause it? That’s what made me stand up for the first time, sick and tired of being picked on, and abused.
Any closing comments?
I think we need to report it more. There’s still a lot of hate crime out there – in any city – in any neighbourhood. I’ve got friends who have had really bad experiences. Threatened with their lives because – who they are.
Thing with hate crime is it tends to cause suicides especially if it’s an ongoing thing all the time. ‘Why is my fault? ‘Why are they picking on me? I’ve done nothing. They want to have a happy life. That’s what we find with Trans people, over 40% have thought about suicide. I’ve tried it twice so I know what it’s about. It’s that feeling of rejection, isolation, self-guilt, ‘why is it happening to me’?
That guilt feeling of ‘yes it’s my fault’. But it’s not your fault.