AFTER the Star Observer’s Christmas party last year, the whole team headed out to a popular gay establishment on Oxford St to continue the revelry and get our boogie on.
We were upstairs dancing our little hearts out, when one of my colleagues ran off suddenly because he was sick.
So I stumbled through the venue trying to find him and eventually walked into a set of restrooms.
In the restrooms were three guys, one was looking in the mirror, one was in the cubicle and the third upon my entrance started talking to me.
I asked if he had seen my colleague – he had not – but then he proceeded to put his hand up my dress and grab my private lady parts.
You read right, a guy who I did not know, to whom I did not give consent, reached down to my nether regions and GRABBED MY VAGINA.
I told him to not do that, but what would a woman’s word be worth, because he touched me down there a second time.
Understandably, I became very agitated but was much too drunk to properly explain to him why initiating unwanted physical contact without consent is not only a gross violation, but sexual harassment.
“Babe, relax it’s ok, I’m just having fun,” he told me before giving my boobs a squeeze.
I stumbled out of the restrooms to the downstairs area where I found some friends and told them what happened.
“Oh my god, that’s terrible,” one said.
“What a dickhead,” the other said.
You can imagine I was pretty keen to leave, head home and call it a night. It’s amazing how being sexually assaulted can ruin a night out.
The next day I recounted the incident to a few other people, who were completely horrified and asked if I told the venue’s bouncers or had reported it to the police, which I had not.
To be honest at the time I was much too drunk to process completely what had happened and I was more worried about the state of my colleague.
I’ve only had great experiences with security personnel at the different venues along Oxford St and I’m sure on this night if I had reported what happened, the bouncers would have done something about it.
Also, this sort of stuff happens all the fucking time to girls (and I’m sure guys) in gay clubs.
I have been groped, touched and accosted so many times over the years, that I almost expect it to happen every time I go out.
What a lot of guys say to me after they’ve groped me is: “it’s ok babe, I’m gay!”.
Well ‘babe’, I’m here to tell you it’s definitely not acceptable to sexually assault someone under any circumstances.
Your sexuality combined with my gender are not exceptions to that rule, just don’t ever touch someone without consent.
Grabbing women’s breasts, bum, or in my case, their vagina, is not cute or funny. It doesn’t build some kind of unspoken solidarity between us, it violates me and my sense of safety in public.
Someone reading this might be thinking, ‘if you don’t like it, don’t go out’, but I am just as entitled to hang out with my friends in the venues we enjoy going to without fear.
People (I can’t believe I have to write this in 2016), you just cannot grope any woman – lesbian, bi, trans or straight – and shirk accountability.
Just because you’re gay and not attracted to women doesn’t mean you’re entitled to do what you like with our bodies.
We have enough of a fight on our hands tackling issues of domestic violence and sexual assault in the wider community.
We’d like to feel safe, too. And when you see me on Oxford St, unless you get the green light, keep your hands out of my pants.