Illustration by Kalah Allen

Like I said calmly to the drunken man with big arms last evening: That's unfortunate that you don't like the way I look, however that doesn't concern me; it's your stupid business entirely. I've attracted assholes like you my whole life, and you can threaten to hit me, actually hit me, come up behind me and boost me off of my barstool like last evening, or tell me to "go 'round the corner outside" with you, but nothing you do to me is ever going to change who I am. Nor will I ever, EVER stand down. And to the guy that cowardly hit me from behind because I declined to fight him when he flipped me off from across the room, and the kind of person he represents: I wasn't afraid of you then, and I'll never, ever be afraid of you. I grew up surrounded by your type in the Midwest for too many years, and I'm tougher than any motherfucker you've ever met. I've been randomly attacked more times than I can count, head bashed against lockers, punched in the cock, punched in the face, thrown across bars, and hit by projectile beer bottles. You know what still has yet to happen? I still have never been attacked by someone who wasn't an idiot coward.—Anonymous