A queer woman fought back against a homophobe in a way that’s tearing LGBT Twitter apart
Picture it: You’re going about your day, shopping for groceries, when you become the victim of a hate crime from a homophobe.
What would you do?
This hypothetical scenario became a reality for Toronto-based Alyssa, and her way of dealing with it has divided Twitter.
In the wild tale which has amazed as much as it has appalled, Alyssa, 21, allegedly stole the bag from a woman who played a role in sending her to conversion therapy camp, she claimed, and used the money to pay for her rent.
a white woman spawned out of nowhere today and started being homophobic to me so I stole her purse and now miss thing's ID is resting in a target trashcan and her money is paying for my tacos and rent
— alyssa (@yourholygaymom) November 3, 2019
While at a superstore shopping for Addreall, she bumped into a woman who was a regular church-goer in the town where her second foster family lived.
Alyssa was kicked out of her birth family’s house after they discovered she was gay.
However, the woman, according to Alyssa, suggested that she be sent to a conversion therapy camp – a widely debunked and traumatic practise – after she and Alyssa’s foster family found out she was a lesbian.
Around five years since this, she bumped into her in the superstore aisles earlier this week, Alyssa alleged.
She told PinkNews that the woman “came out of nowhere” and allegedly said to her: “‘Oh, dear. It’s you, isn’t it?'”
According to Alyssa, the woman “started spewing hatred, like, ‘I really thought the days in that camp will fix your illness’ and then called me a ‘lesbian slut’ and just started to trigger me with, ‘all the gays are horrible’.”
“I fully had a panic attack,” she continued, “I went to the washroom and cried for a full moment.”
Queer woman used the ‘homophobe’s’ money to save for college and pay for rent.
But while in the stalls, she had a thought: “You have to do something, girl, fight back.”
And she did. She “snatched [the woman’s] purse, secured the bag, took the coin, and walked out.
“Never looked back.”
To Alyssa, she thought she could either “expose [the woman’s] unseasoned a** on Twitter” or “take something from her as a cost of the pain she’s caused me”.
Moreover, after allegedly grabbing the woman’s belongings, she later threw away her identification cards into an “abandoned Target store and went out, threw it there and took the money home and paid my rent.
“Took a sigh of relief, took my Adderall, showered, moisturised – your girl was living the life,” she added.
Back home, Alyssa reflected on her actions and went back to the shuttered Target and claimed she retrieved the woman’s IDs, “and posted it to her along with a list of charges I can stack against her and how much sentence she’ll have to live through” on account of what she has done to Alyssa in the past.
“The rent is payed. I’m feeling fresh, I’m feeling free and I saved a good amount for college.”
‘Legend’ or ‘criminal’: Twitter struggles to decide whether Alyssa is in the right.
Alyssa’s actions fractured Twitter.
Many celebrated her act of defiance, while others decried her resorting to theft and identity theft to tackle homophobia.
From “legend” to the rallying cry of “be gay, do crime” hundreds of users took to Alyssa’s side in the debate.
A LEGEND https://t.co/Vg70WMC6ck
— Averielle Roberts (@AverielleR513) November 5, 2019
FUCK HOMOPHOBES 2K19 https://t.co/EzIGLSkRZO
— Jasnah's Apprentice (@CohensMuse) November 7, 2019
While Alyssa had a response to the criticism she faced in her mentions:
lmao they have that behavior because its already justified in their heads, so if they gonna behave like that im not just gonna be cute and let it go. if they give me a panic attack and trauma, they gonna give my rent as well pic.twitter.com/8nj82ZTc8P
— alyssa (@yourholygaymom) November 4, 2019
im 21 and have been through homophobic birth parents, homophobic foster parents, conversion therapy, bullies, online harassment, all kinds of abuse. imagine how tired i am
— alyssa (@yourholygaymom) November 4, 2019
Some users shared that Alyssa could have “educated” the woman, rather than doing what she claimed.
To that approach, she said: “I’m not responsible for educating people or for being the bigger person. I’m responsible for MY life.
“I’m not gonna spend it trying to get validation from people who want me dead, or who want to hurt me.”
Alyssa implored for people to consider their own privilege when assessing her reaction to discrimination, something which everyone experiences and handles differently depending on their gender identity, race, class and able-bodiedness.
“Just a week ago, I found a plastic bag filled with pee with a note attached to it that said ‘medicine prescription for a dyke’,” Alyssa claimed.
“I’m a kind person, but there’s a line.”
‘Fighting back is not sending us back.’
Nevertheless, users questioned whether “committing a crime” was a valid response to homophobia and several claimed to have reported her to the city authorities.
Great job on setting the example of how LGBT people should react to: committing a crime. https://t.co/4kBfmaLwui
— Jason Jimenez (@Jason_0504) November 5, 2019
You absolute idiot. You just admitted to identity theft and theft. Thanks for making the LGBT community look bad. Your poor attempt to be funny will get you into legal trouble.
By a Asexual Aromantic https://t.co/FJSDDlWvSU
— MerusTheAngel (@PyschoWayne) November 5, 2019
Bisexual here. Thank you for setting us all back several years by responding to alleged homophobia with atrocious, reactionary criminal behavior, then bragging about it on social media and claiming to be some kind of iconic gay leader. Really helps the cause. https://t.co/hEUgxKMnen
— Michelle 🐟 (@Chat_Mort) November 4, 2019
But Michelle’s critique of Alyssa’s action, that she has sent the LGBT+ rights movement “back several users”, became front and centre of the firing rage, with fellow queer users sharing their thoughts on why they disagreed with her opinion:
your tweet has provided space for heterosexuals in the replies to voice their subtly homophobic views and have other people validate them but the girl who stole a homophobic woman's purse is the one setting the community back several years? https://t.co/PFkisOV6n5
— river (@seintlaurent) November 7, 2019
Lesbian here, and I think it's a bit of a stretch to say one pretty minor act of self-righteousness (that very likely could've never happened at all) sent the LGBTQ community "several years back." https://t.co/llzlATZevJ
— TheGhostWriter (@AvaRoseThe) November 5, 2019
Did you think Stonewall was legal?!!!!
Us being out is still a crime today. Pls sit your ahistorical ass down. And to everyone else, be gay!! DO CRIMES!!! https://t.co/HaUwF76u0X
— Jocelyne S. 🐸☕️ (@trash_president) November 6, 2019
As a user called Izz said: “Fighting back is not sending us back… shaming and fighting with those who are fighting the fight sure does, though.
“Why not lend a hand instead of tearing her down?”
And Alyssa added: “I’m not perfect or the best human being, but I’m trying to be better.
“That’s what matters to me.”