Her voice was spitting hate and animosity toward a transgender woman, but the subway car was full of people who didn't say a word.
Before everyone starts commenting to me about letting this hateful, vile woman yelling on the subway die in infamy, I want to point out a few things, and break down how prejudice and homophobia infiltrate society to degrees that some of us don’t understand.
And while you’re casting your judgment on the woman for saying these hurtful and ignorant slurs, remember, not one bystander stepped in to help Pearl Love as she was being verbally attacked and eventually physically assaulted.
We might say we would step in, but what would we do in that same situation?
Here is my part for standing up for Pearl. I won't go into the bigot's racist remarks in the video, I'll let the irony sit there.
First, I am not a trans person, and I have never experienced anything quite like this in my life. The video struck me because it was really a point-of-view from the victim’s side. It also struck me because the assailant had so many questions through her expletive rant; as if she was trying to understand, but other voices, stronger ones, in her head were at play.
If anything, this video should make people aware of what it is like to be trans in America. It may not be pretty, and it certainly is uncomfortable, but then you have to ask yourself, why that is. If you are not a trans woman, how can you relate?
For starters, let me say that the lady doesn’t appear to be on drugs, although she is unstable. She also appears to be somewhat educated, plus she mentions that she’s a mother.
My heart goes out to Pearl because she says this type of thing happens to her all the time, this is just the first time she’s recorded it.
The first words from the woman in the video shows how confused she is about seeing, who she seems to think is a man in women’s clothing, “You a transvestite video tapping me, “she yells.
The majority of society thinks that transgender people, women especially, are transvestites. It’s a little shocking to see this younger woman still using the term, but her ignorance is what is most offensive.
Typically, a transvestite is a cis male who feels better in women’s clothing. A transgender person is someone who feels that their biological sex does not identify their true gender. Just because the doctor said, “It’s a boy!” at birth doesn’t mean that is how the person will feel inside later on in life.
“Suck my d*ck,” the woman continues. I thought this was strange because she says it more than once. I thought it was interesting; here she is condemning a person for being trans, yet she imagines that she has a penis herself.
Contradiction seems to be a prevalent theme in hate speech. It’s confusing because most people ignore it. “They’re just ignorant, I won’t argue with a stupid person,” we might say. We seem to have sympathy for those who are not educated. And therefore clam up, but isn’t it our responsibility to correct them? They might not listen, but at least we have given them something to work with. If they are going to be a bigot, at least let them know exactly who they are hating.
“You a homo…gay…in some women’s products.” She screams.
Again she is not informed of anything, she is blanketing the term ‘homo’ and ‘gay,’ to include trans people. That is another misconception in the straight world of bigotry.
We in the LGBT community, at least we should, know that trans people aren’t always gay. But bigots like to throw that term around because it’s a simple word, easy to use and probably have had it said to them at some point in their lives as an insult.
But here’s where the video gets interesting, the bridge to the subway haters rant suddenly turns inquisitive, “...like what are you going to do to survive in the long run? I mean do you do this on the weekends? Or is this an everyday event for you?”
I may get into some trouble for saying this, but to some degree these are valid questions, although it really in none of the woman’s business. Yet, in the world of Donald Trump and his ilk, this is probably what they are thinking.
Through her hate speech, she seems to want to understand how a transgender person lives and goes about everyday life. Again, it is none of her business, and she should probably better benefit from actually getting to know a trans person instead of having her inquiries come out in a bigoted rant.
“Like who are you really under all that makeup?” she asks. Again the bigot is so confused about the LGBT community that she wants to know more.
Here’s another part of rant that I find interesting: “…like how we supposed to act with you? What should we do about you?”
This is telling of the boisterous woman. It seems she has generated animosity because she’s not sure how to act around people she doesn’t understand. And as we all know, a bigot’s first response to the unknown is anger and aggression.
“Cuz, This s**t right here ain’t appropriate for my child,” she yells.
This statement always gets me because bigots always bring their children into the mix. Bigots, please stop forgetting that your child may be trans or gay themselves once they grow up.
Finally, in true form the woman can take Pearl’s silent protest no longer and becomes physical. The fact that Pearl is recording the hate-speech may have irritated the lady, but I think the fact that she sat in silence was more than the bigot could bear.
A truly hateful person who doesn’t get a response from the person being attacked will lash out physically. It’s always been that way, and it probably always will be.
Most of you are probably thinking that the subway bigot is the worst part of the video, but hold on, she’s not.
I think the people who do nothing, say nothing and listen to the entire exchange go down are also to blame.
Was this a train full of bigots? Surely there was one person on the busy commute that could have stood up and said something in order to give Pearl a sense of support. But nobody does in the video.
We can all condemn the subway hater for her behavior, but what about the others who pretended to have headphones in, sleep or just outright ignore the situation?
I imagine, this is how being trans must feel everyday: they are metaphorically alone in a subway car filled with people and when someone attacks them, there is no one there to help.
Sure, we must be conscious of what the woman may be capable of; we don’t know what’s in her bag, but there is strength in numbers, and yet they sat in silence. Although the video ends once the hitting starts, Pearl says that no body helped her.
And finally, the ranting woman is a bigot of the worst kind. She is African American and the irony is that 50 years ago her behavior was probably done to someone in her family tree by a white person on a bus.
The sole purpose of this commentary is to show that even though the subway bigot is one person saying terrible things, her thoughts are not unique to the millions of other bigots in the world. They are uninformed, confused and downright hateful, but alive in modern society, and others sit in silence amused at their stupidity.
How do we educate them, when nobody is willing to stand up and say, "Hey, you're wrong."
Pearl Love and others like her deal with this type of hate every day, and we can be appalled at the actions of those who attack, but we also must stand up for them and challenge those that think they can win by damaging our souls or our bodies.
As North Carolina passes anti-LGBT laws and bathroom bills, why isn’t the LGBT community heading to the capital in mass protest? Why aren’t trans celebrities, any celebrity allies, gathering at the State Legislative Buildings by the thousands to voice their opinions?
We cannot be the community that sits on the subway while allowing others to hurt our community.
We must educate ourselves, and stand up for those who are scared or feel alone in order to change a bigot's mind.
So to Pearl Love, and to all the transgender people out there: know that I would have come to your rescue on the subway, as millions of others would have too.