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Tips on how to be safe when in the public?


Concerned father

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So guys, this is my biggest worry. I tried advising Mike to try to keep a low profile whenever walking the streets.

 

I advised him to dress casually and low key and not draw attention to himself but he likes fancy designer clothing which stands out. Of course I understand his point on wanting to be free to wear whatever he wants just like any other person. My thinking is though is this might put a bullseye on his back. Even his very shiny purse is very highly visible which one can see from a distance. Maybe he should wear only Unisex clothing when taking public transportation and if going to a party or any social event then he can wear whatever he wants and take a cab?

 

I am a prevention is better than cure person guys but Mike has always had issues of unawareness and not recognizing danger and I think is part of his Autism issues. Another issue is his attitude, he can be extremely stubborn, obstinate and defiant. I told him if someone should try heckling him, he should simply ignore that person and if the person persists only then say "please leave me alone". Mike's response to this was if anyone says anything to him he doesn't care what happens to him that he is going to mouth off to them. 

 

What can I tell him which might make a difference in keeping him safe please? If we living in some very small town whoever everybody knows one another I wouldn't worry as much for his safety when in Public but this is the heart of NY where even the average person gets attacked both verbally and physically for less.

 

 

 

 

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I'm sorry, but I don't know what to tell you.

 

For my own part, I do try not to attract unnecessary attention to myself.  And also, I live by a relatively small city where I shop etc.  I still make it a point to stay very aware of my surroundings.  To be honest, a place like NYC would scare the fool out of me.  I'm more of a "Country Mouse" type.

34 minutes ago, Concerned father said:

I think is part of his Autism issues.

And this adds another level…

 

I hope he is able to stay safe.

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I understand your worries about your child. I live in NJ where the dangers are less visible but when my children and now my grandchildren bike into town along 50 mile an hour roads i always am afraid.  We protect them as much as possible and yet they also want independence.  I hated to let go but had to.  In NY a cab might be a good if expensive option.  As to clothes i remember resistance to most of what my parents suggested.  

In short there isn't much advice in can give.  I do understand and commiserate if that helps.  Seeing the ones we love go out into the world is sometimes nerve racking at best.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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Thank you for your inputs guys. At least might you be able to advise me on if my advice/recommendations mentioned to mike is good advice and the advice you would give to your own child please?

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19 minutes ago, Charlize said:

 I do understand and commiserate if that helps.  Seeing the ones we love go out into the world is sometimes nerve racking at best.

True.  Even my cis kids have scared the doodoo out of me at times.

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3 minutes ago, Concerned father said:

At least might you be able to advise me on if my advice/recommendations mentioned to mike is good advic

You sound reasonable to me.  But having raised a number of kids, some just have to learn the hard way.  That's how we get these grey hairs.  I feel for you.

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1 hour ago, Jandi said:

You sound reasonable to me.  But having raised a number of kids, some just have to learn the hard way.  That's how we get these grey hairs.  I feel for you.

Thank you. At least you have hair, I have none! :)

 

For this past week I have been thinking the same thing, if mike does not want to listen to my advice to do whatever's necessary to  try to prevent him from getting hurt when in the public then as you've rightly stated he will need to learn the hard way, I see no other recourse for this.

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Maybe try this approach; ask him to put himself in your place, and come up with a couple of suggestions that he thinks are good.  That kind of puts him in the "driver's seat" and allows him to see your side of things.  Might not work, but you never know.

 

Carolyn Marie

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Hmnn, worth a shot I mean using that angle [thank you] but issue with him is its his way and his way only, there is no compromising. I will try your way next time the topic comes up and will report back.

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Probably the best advice I've got is going to be the hardest to follow....consider moving.  Densely populated areas seem more risky to me.  For whatever reason, my corner of the South seems to have a lot of "refugees" from Cali and NY/NJ lately seeking a slower pace of life with less regulation. 

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50 minutes ago, awkward-yet-sweet said:

Probably the best advice I've got is going to be the hardest to follow....consider moving.  Densely populated areas seem more risky to me.  For whatever reason, my corner of the South seems to have a lot of "refugees" from Cali and NY/NJ lately seeking a slower pace of life with less regulation. 

What’s your corner of the south? 

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I agree with @awkward-yet-sweet... I was also going to ask if you can move.  Moving is something not everyone has resources for, and there's always some risk with moving, but sounds like you're real worried.  And the risk of violence in the States these days isn't imaginary.

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I grew up in the D.C suburbs  but have been living overseas for over thirty years now, so the US is looking scarier and scarier to me. Next month, I'm visiting the States and will go to the Pride Parade in Charlotte, North Carolina. The whole point of the parade is to stand out, so I want to wear a transgender-themed dress. Hard not to be scared, though. What if the parade becomes a target?  With this in mind, I was hoping to get some advice from this thread, too, but there doesn't seem to be much. Still hoping to get some, though... 

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I'm fairly close to Charlotte.  I only avoid it from a dislike of big cities in general.  My impression is Charlotte is relatively open to LGBT folks, compared to the more rural areas (where I am)  

 

Having said that, I do feel fairly safe where I am.  Just don't do anything particularly stupid.

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Isn't there someone on here from Charlotte?

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This is not advice so much as an attempt at reassurance. I live in an Australian city of roughly two million people. I stand out in a crowd. I am six foot two and dress fairly glamorously with a bright red wig. I am early in my transition and do not pass. In the two months since I’ve lived here I’ve been out and about 2-3 days a week, for many hours a day both in daylight and at after dark. In all those roughly 100+ hours of being seen in public I have encountered only one negative reaction, at night, by a drunken young man. At least I think it was negative. Admittedly I had the sense not to escalate the situation. My point is, my impression is of general tolerance, at least in my neck of the woods. Keep in mind that Australia generally lags behind the US (or at least the more progressive states) in terms of lgbtq rights, though I realise the “debate” has become polarised recently in the US.

 

My best advice is advice you have already given yourself: Should he encounter abuse, your son should not rise to the occasion. Who cares what people say? He is a bigger person for shrugging it off. Why let the bullies drag them down to his level?

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1 hour ago, Betty K said:

This is not advice so much as an attempt at reassurance. I live in an Australian city of roughly two million people. I stand out in a crowd. I am six foot two and dress fairly glamorously with a bright red wig. I am early in my transition and do not pass. In the two months since I’ve lived here I’ve been out and about 2-3 days a week, for many hours a day both in daylight and at after dark. In all those roughly 100+ hours of being seen in public I have encountered only one negative reaction, at night, by a drunken young man. At least I think it was negative. Admittedly I had the sense not to escalate the situation. My point is, my impression is of general tolerance, at least in my neck of the woods. Keep in mind that Australia generally lags behind the US (or at least the more progressive states) in terms of lgbtq rights, though I realise the “debate” has become polarised recently in the US.

 

My best advice is advice you have already given yourself: Should he encounter abuse, your son should not rise to the occasion. Who cares what people say? He is a bigger person for shrugging it off. Why let the bullies drag them down to his level?

Girl, even if Australia might be behind in some ways, I envy your current wintertime. I’m on fire over here! 🥵 

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4 hours ago, Betty K said:

Why let the bullies drag them down to his level?

 

Good god, my apologies! What a weird sentence. That should read: Why let the bullies drag him down to their level? 

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12 hours ago, Betty K said:

My best advice is advice you have already given yourself: Should he encounter abuse, your son should not rise to the occasion. Who cares what people say? He is a bigger person for shrugging it off. Why let the bullies drag them down to his level?

 

Well, it's good advice, thank you but the issue is he has already said he "doesn't care and will not take the abuse form anyone and will mouth off to them". So, that means as others have said he will need to learn the hard way than. Only question and fear for me is how severe will be the hard way.

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8 hours ago, Concerned father said:

 

Well, it's good advice, thank you but the issue is he has already said he "doesn't care and will not take the abuse form anyone and will mouth off to them". So, that means as others have said he will need to learn the hard way than. Only question and fear for me is how severe will be the hard way.

 

It sounds to me like he has some poor role models. But that’s probably pretty much inevitable for any young man who watches Hollywood films these days. Has he ever trained in martial arts? Not only would that improve his chances of defending himself, but it would provide him with a whole class full of role models who — hopefully, if the school is good — would be committed to fighting only in self defence. 

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Hi, just a thought, and this might be a culture thing, but most people I know do not go out on their own.

They meet up at a friends and head out from there so you could always make yours the designated place for pre-drinks if you are concerned, making demands usually doesn't end well.

Other than that, the rules for going out don't really change.

Go out with someone else if at all possible.

Stay in well lit, well used places, use public transport/taxis if you do not have a driver, and when walking anywhere stay away from groups (especially drunken young adults)

Always have your phone charged and let people know where you are going and what time you expect to get there

Keep valuables hidden while in public, and even if you're lost don't look like a tourist walk purposefully in the same direction as others until you get somewhere safe (like a cafe/Starbucks) and then figure out where you are in safety.

 

My son has autism and I remind him regularly that actions have consequences and that he can only control his actions, but not those of other people.

I tell him to treat loudmouths like farts, they are unwanted, loud and stink up the place but soon drift away and don't cause any real damage.

Does Mike really want to spend a night in the cells all because some stranger on the street couldn't understand fashion?

Good luck!

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15 hours ago, Betty K said:

 

It sounds to me like he has some poor role models. But that’s probably pretty much inevitable for any young man who watches Hollywood films these days. Has he ever trained in martial arts? Not only would that improve his chances of defending himself, but it would provide him with a whole class full of role models who — hopefully, if the school is good — would be committed to fighting only in self defence. 

Nah, all of his life I have been trying to get him into sports or exercising of some sort and especially self defense. He's timid and cannot protect himself physically from anyone male or female. He only knows VERY WELL how to mouth off to people and get under their skin and THAT is one of my major worries for him.

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2 hours ago, DeeDee said:

Hi, just a thought, and this might be a culture thing, but most people I know do not go out on their own.

They meet up at a friends and head out from there so you could always make yours the designated place for pre-drinks if you are concerned, making demands usually doesn't end well.

Other than that, the rules for going out don't really change.

Go out with someone else if at all possible.

Stay in well lit, well used places, use public transport/taxis if you do not have a driver, and when walking anywhere stay away from groups (especially drunken young adults)

Always have your phone charged and let people know where you are going and what time you expect to get there

Keep valuables hidden while in public, and even if you're lost don't look like a tourist walk purposefully in the same direction as others until you get somewhere safe (like a cafe/Starbucks) and then figure out where you are in safety.

 

My son has autism and I remind him regularly that actions have consequences and that he can only control his actions, but not those of other people.

I tell him to treat loudmouths like farts, they are unwanted, loud and stink up the place but soon drift away and don't cause any real damage.

Does Mike really want to spend a night in the cells all because some stranger on the street couldn't understand fashion?

Good luck!

This is GREAT info, thank you very much! I will run all of this by him but of course will be up to him if he should make use of this advice which I highly doubt he will so all I can do is try.

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