I have previously mentioned the boys who explode, but I find that I'm increasingly needing to deal with The Boys Who Follow.
These are the guys who sort of latch onto me in a straight setting, and then insist on following me around all night. Sometimes they'll try to grab me on the way to or from the bathroom, or they'll just keep asking me for my phone number. Tonight was the first night that a boy ran after me and tried to follow me home, no matter how many times I told him it was awful and creepy. "I'm not trying to pick you up!" he kept shouting, grabbing my shoulder until I finally ran back and had to wait for an eventual cab. "Why are you acting like this?" was his (hopefully) final comment.
I don't believe that most men behave this way. Whenever I decide to walk home from Club Abstract, I always check carefully to make sure I'm not being stalked by some little possie with baseball bats. But tonight was the first time that I've been grabbed repeatedly and followed even while I protested, and I wondered why this is happening now and not ten years ago.
Maybe it's because I'm better and more confident at drag than I used to, but I really think that it's a double-edged sword of acceptance; once upon a time that sort of man would be too frightened to be a nuisance, but now that it's sort of "okay" for him to be attracted to me, he feels more confident about treating me (perhaps) like he'd treat some other girl. Which makes me, as always, appreciate in some small way what women deal with in bars.
What I find most interesting was his shout of "Why are you being like this?" I'm trying to decode what he was thinking when he said it. He obviously was accusing me of being suspicious and of over-reacting, and yet the guy was aggressively grabbing my shoulder and trying to pull me away. I wonder: would he REALLY do this to a girl? Or is it only okay because it's me? And if that's the case, is it okay because he can pretend he's just "a guy walking with a guy," or because my sexuality is largely unimportant, or because he was so repressed that he believed that he honestly, really, TRULY wouldn't do anything awful once we turned the corner?
It's a weird situation: cut-and-dried for me ("Get lost!") but muddy in its motivation.