[trigger warning] “Smile.”

14368761_10102453058832481_4428515642593704516_nTRIGGER WARNING This article or section, or pages it links to, contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.

I will admit that I’ve lived in Europe so long that I often forget what it’s like to be cat called in public. As opposed to a pub.

Where it’s acceptable?

No. Wrong. Still no bueno.

But still.

Back to the point.

I went to see Niagara Falls today. And walk to Canada. And eat poutine.

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And I did.

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But also an employee of Niagara Falls Maid of the Mist boat tour company told me to “Smile” as he passed me.

But.

Before I tell you what happened, let me take you back to last Thursday morning. When I met with my psychologist. And we talked about Reacting.

How I reacted as I was raped. And when I was kissed. And when someone cat calls me.

We talked about ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’ responses.

And so it is with EPIC PRIDE that I tell you exactly what happened today when that dude told me to smile.

I looked him in the eye and said, “Do I have to?”

He replied, “Well, yeah.”

And I shook my head, no, “No. I don’t.”

Without a single smile.

And I walked on.

Practically skipping.

Now. Let me be clear. This was in public. During the day. With lots of other people around. And he’s an employee of the place where this happened.

I FELT SO SAFE.

Had I not felt safe, there would’ve been an entirely different reaction.

Sadly.

But, for now, I’m pretty damn proud of today’s Reaction.

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