10 Thoughts You Have While Walking Home Alone At Night As A Queer Woman

10 Thoughts You Have While Walking Home Alone At Night As A Queer Woman

This is a true internal conversation I have with myself every time I'm walking alone.

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These thoughts go through my head constantly when I'm by myself at night. I shouldn't have to think about these things, but I do. This is the reality that I, and many others, live in.

1. Don't put your phone away 

Hold on to it. Don't put it in your purse or pocket. Keep it close just incase. Better yet, call someone.

2. Hold your keys in your hand 

You need to be able to get into your car or house as quickly as you can. You never know what could happen in the few seconds it might take you to rummage through your bag. They could also be used for self-defense if heaven forbid I need it.

3. Does this path have enough light? 

Which route should I take? Am I going to be walking on a street that has enough light? Even if it takes longer, is there a safer path I should take..?

4. Check to make sure no one is following you 

Don't make it to obvious, but look around. Be aware of your surroundings. Has that person been behind me for a while? Maybe I should go somewhere else to see if they are actually following me. Am I just being paranoid? No. People get raped, assaulted, and kidnapped every day. Women get raped, assaulted, and kidnapped every day. Queer people get raped assaulted and kidnapped every day. I am not being paranoid. I am being cautious.

5. What should my boyfriend's name be? 

If I'm approached, I need to have a quick story. Something that sounds believable. I'm going to meet my boyfriend, maybe? I need to make sure my 'boyfriend' has a name that makes him sound big and scary. Chad? Max? The freaking Hulk? I can't tell them that I'm single, that might give them the wrong idea. I can't tell them what my sexuality is, that might give them the wrong idea. Honesty isn't the best policy when every 98 seconds another American is sexually assaulted.

6. Your pepper spray is in the side pocket of your back pack 

All you'd need to do is swing your bag off of your left shoulder, unzip the pocket with your right hand, and there it is. Super simple. You can use it if you need it.

7. I wish I could listen to music...

I wish I could just put my headphones in and listen to the Spotify playlist I just made but I can't risk it.

8. Why didn't I ask a friend to walk with me...

Everyone preaches about the buddy system but it's so easy to just assume you'll be fine. You don't want to be that person who victimizes themselves before anything ever happens. But it is better to be safe than sorry. I'll bring a friend with me next time.

9. You're almost there 

Just two more flights of stairs and you'll be on the 6th floor of the parking deck. The car is in the middle row and about 5 cars in. You'll be there soon and you'll be safe. You're almost there.

10. Lock the doors 

Get in the car and lock the doors before you do anything else.

I wish I was exaggerating about these thoughts, but I'm not. This is how I feel when I'm on my college campus, downtown, in a parking lot, and even in my own neighborhood. This is the reality of women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and many other marginalized groups. I should be able to walk somewhere without fearing for my life. We, as a society, need to do better.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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