Laurie’s story: “It’s difficult to describe how completely isolated I felt.”

I took my seat on the 1 Spring Garden bus around 10:30 AM and went about minding my own business. Person 1 happens to notice my Pride button I have on my jacket and says, “I like your pin.”

For the sake of argument, we’ll assume he was sincere. I had and still have, no reason to think otherwise. I looked up, smiled at him and simply replied, “Thank you.”

Did my voice inadvertently lower when I uttered those two words? I’m going to assume it did since I remember immediately telling myself that I could have done that better. About 30 seconds goes by when out of nowhere, Person 2 says, “It’s so f***ing maddening how many people there are in this city that you can’t tell if they’re a man or woman!”

Did I hear that correctly? Was that directed at me? I didn’t look up and just continued to stare at my iPhone as if I were reading something on it (which I wasn’t)

Another few seconds goes by and Person 2 continued, “I mean, this place is worse than Toronto! I can’t believe how many f***ing trannys there are here!”

Now I know I heard that one correctly. I decided to look over at Person 2 and decided to give him the best ‘we are not amused glare’ that I could muster.

He glanced over at me and stared back, joining his three other friends who were already staring back at me as well; including Person 1 who had earlier been friendly towards me. I glared a second or two longer and slowly turned my attention back to my phone.

Person 1 says, “Oh. Why did you say that? It looks like you hurt her feelings.”

Now, I glance up and not only is the foursome looking at me, suddenly it’s everyone else on the bus as well. It’s difficult to describe how completely isolated I felt at that very moment. Did I say anything in my defense? Did anyone else come to my defense? I mean, we’ve all seen those hidden camera shows called “What Would You Do?” where they hire actors and actresses to stage situations where someone is being verbally assaulted to see what unknowing spectators would do in that situation. The segments are always pretty well done for the most part and they almost always show an instance of someone coming to the rescue. Yeah, let me burst that bubble for you right here and now because that didn’t happen in this case.

Person 2 says, “I don’t give a sh*t! Why do you care what she thinks anyway? You don’t know her. You just talked sh*t about someone else 10 minutes ago and it was ok then.”

Person 1 replies, “Oh yeah, I suppose I did. Yeah, forgot about that.”

Bright side (yes there is one) – at least he gendered me correctly.

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