I use a cane occasionally, most recently I was sitting down watching a concert and a man standing next to me kept grabbing my shoulder and shaking it to get my attention to ask me if I wanted to move closer, I told him no repeatedly and he did not listen. My partner came up beside me and knelt to ask me a question and give me a kiss. After my partner stands up, the man grabs my shoulder and speaking over me asked my partner if I wanted to move. This man could not take no for an answer, even when my partner turned to me and asked and I said. The man continue to pester my partner to convince me to move “because it would be better”. This man I did not know was convinced he knew what was best for me, better than myself and my partner. As someone with EDS, grabbing and shaking me is one of the worst things you can do. He did not understand why he couldn’t just touch me. I felt awful and like I wasn’t being listened to.
Criminologist and Co-Director of Centre for Gender Studies at University of Sussex