I ride the 8 bus to and from work every day. That bus is never on time and it’s never clean, and yet it’s one of the best lines in the city. The intersections of North and Greenmount, 33rd and Greenmount, and Glennwood and York Rd are always busy and a little intimidating for a smaller, young person who presents as a woman.
The other afternoon at the 33rd and Greenmount intersection I was harassed to the point of being terrified. Someone on the curb side of the bus got my attention, saying someone on the sidewalk was trying to talk to me. It was a young man probably my age or younger. He was surrounded by a crowd of his peers and he was making lewd gestures at me, and calling me ‘honey’ and ‘sweetie’ through the glass. I gave him the finger and went back to reading but all of his friends laughed and encouraged him to keep going. So he did. He was no longer smiling but looked angry and started calling me a white bitch for ignoring him. He talked about what he would do to my body for ignoring him. His friends kept laughing.
The person who got my attention in the first place looked sheepish and the other few people in the bus were muttering about how disrespectful it was. But no one said “ef that guy, you’re ok” and I was ignored while I cried.
Earlier that day an old man on the 27 sat down across the aisle from a young woman in front of me. He kept saying “baby girl, baby girl, baby girl, baby girl, baby girl” over and over again at her. She ignored him and I finally said “I don’t think her name is baby girl and it doesn’t look like she wants to talk to you”. He responded by saying he just wanted to know if this bus was going to a specific location. I said it was and that the bus driver was certainly equipped to answer that question for him. He called me a white bitch and got off the bus at the next stop.
I was scared on the 8 and pissed off on the 27. I had just been followed home the night before and was still shaken up. I was terrified that young man would get on the bus and hurt me, and annoyed that old man thought he had any right to talk to that woman like that.
I love Baltimore but the MTA makes this white bitch wants to move to the fucking moon.