Inspired by the viral video of a woman receiving catcalls in New York City over 10 hours, Dennis Chuyeshkov, a self-described YouTube prankster, filmed himself walking through Manhattan dressed effeminately to see what kind of harassment LGBT people face in public. He noted more than 50 incidents of verbal and physical harassment over three hours.
Some people have taken issue with Chuyeshkov's description that he "dressed as a homosexual," which promotes the false stereotype that all gay men dress up and act in an effeminate manner. There's also questions about the video's validity — it being, after all, the work of a prankster.
But the video accurately portrays the kind of public harassment that can be expected by gay men, lesbian women, trans people, and anyone else who behaves or dresses outside the conventional social norms. All too often, people feel they can shout homophobic and transphobic slurs — even in public — just because a person doesn't fit their views of masculinity, femininity, or sexuality in general.
Sometimes the situations go beyond verbal harassment. Earlier this year, a trans teen was stabbed in the Washington, DC, subway, and witnesses have described the incident as a potential hate crime. Trans people are 400 times more likely to be assaulted or murdered than the rest of the population, according to the Trans* Violence Tracking Portal.