Content Warning(s): Stalking.
Submitted for Sexual Assault Awareness Month - Our Voices & Stories.
"As a teenager, I didn't get out much. My mom mostly liked to keep me at home, so I didn't get many experiences at public events. For the most part, people at my local con seemed pretty tame, so my parents were ok with letting me go.
Most people at the convention were extremely nice and, at the time, I was pretty open to talking to people I had never met before. I was pretty naive to the prospect of sexual harassment of any kind, and I think it made me an easy target. I, luckily, have not had any extreme situations occur, but I can look back on two now that I didn't realize at the time could have been very dangerous.
These both happened at ***** in 2010.
The first was very mild, but pretty creepy. I was sitting in a circle on the floor just outside the dealer room with a few of my friends having a snack and chatting when I felt someone come up behind me. I didn't think anything of it because this was back in the age of friends "glomping" each other, but when I turned I saw a stranger.
A tall, thin male in a fishnet shirt (nothing underneath) and a mask was crouched behind me, his knees on either side of me, his crotch almost touching my back, and the first thing he did was ask me for a hug. I tried to politely decline, and he did refrain from touching me and backed off. However, for the next couple hours he followed me around, not getting the hint that I was creeped out by him.
My friends could see what was going on and were trying to help by saying things like "Oh, why don't you come with me to the artist's alley!" and he would just go "Oh, I'll come too!". Eventually, he went away."