To all the Humans of the world,
I am a Sculptor, Activist, Drag King and Educator from India. I was on my way to a petrol pump on my bike in Saligao, Goa, I saw a man (his name is Brian Franco which I later learnt). He was talking on the phone while riding his scooter and almost crashed into my bike. To which I asked him to get off his phone he started to use vile words and verbally abuse me, basically saying, ‘ Who am I to tell him what to do?’
I did not want to engage so I drove away. He stalked me and cornered my bike and stopped his bike in front of mine such that I had to stop. He proceeded to remove my bike keys and threw them away and then started to hit my bike and intimidate me. I was not scared, I looked straight into his eyes without fear. He then proceeded to grab my crotch and threw my phone and said, ‘ What will you do now?”. That is when I had had it. I couldn’t let someone molest me, I gave him a tight slap and what happened after that you saw in the video.
A caring bystander made the video and after I felt the sight of the incident in a frenzy, the by-stander followed me and gave me the video and urged me to go to the cops. I went to the Saligao police station and showed the cops the video. To my surprise the man who assaulted and molested me, Brian Franco, showed up at the police station complaining that I had hit him and ripped his clothes. I defended myself with pride. In that moment I wasn’t scared, not because I am strong and not because I had the ability to tackle someone 3 times my size, but only because the sad truth is this is not the worst that’s happened to me. I have been facing sexual abuse since I was a child and in so many ways but our judicial system is pitted against the inflicted, so is our culture. I had had enough and I fought back because someone like him did not scare me enough to choke up, but I have choked up in the past, not knowing how to say no, not knowing how to fight back, not knowing if I could fight back.
There are so many others like him in this world. This is not about being a man, woman, trans, genderfluid, goan, Indian, it’s not about being an insider or outsider, it’s about being human.
What is going on with respect to the humanity in our world? Where has it gone? Brian Franco is out on bail at the moment and in spite of video evidence. ₹ 20,000 (USD 288.26) is the bail amount that Brian Franco had to pay in order to walk on the streets freely. That is the price of having a vagina and a pair of breasts in this country.
Even though the cops at the Saligao police station were helpful and seemed to be on my side, while I was giving my statement Brian Franco touched his chest while looking at my low cut gorgeous dress which is very flattering to my breasts and said ‘Very nice Very nice!’ in front of the cops and proceeded to grab his crotch and shook it while saying, ‘ Take my cock.’ All this in front of the police and the police had to remain neutral. What he did even in the police had to remain neutral. What he did even in the police station is sexual abuse.
In the court of law during a bail hearing, the complainant has no voice, doesn’t even have a right to their own lawyer. I was represented by a public prosecutor and the accused has a right to a lawyer. The complainant has no voice, In fact the complainant isn’t even required to show up in court. The police and public prosecutor speak on behalf of the complainant.
WHAT KIND OF JUSTICE IS THIS? I AM NOT A VICTIM AND I WILL NEVER BE AGAIN. I HAVE TAKEN MY POWER BACK BY STANDING UP FOR MYSELF FOR ALL THE TIMES I COULD NOT, FOR ALL THE TIMES I WASN’T ABLE TO. I AM AN OUT AND PROUD GENDERFLUID PERSON WHOSE IDENTITY IS DISMISSED AND CONSTANTLY DEEMED INVALID OVER AND OVER AGAIN BUT THIS IS NOT ABOUT THAT. THIS IS ABOUT HUMANITY. WHERE IS IT? WHERE HAS IT GONE?
I urge the world to make sure that even though this person is out on the streets, no one should be unaware of what he did. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.