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Vancouver trans woman, drag queen worry gender presentation reason predator targeted them

Last Updated Jan 8, 2020 at 7:27 am PDT

File photo: The intersection of Hastings Street and Nanaimo Street. (Source: Google Maps)
Summary

Two people in East Vancouver say they fear they're being targeted by a predator based on their gender presentation

Shaken and violated, a trans woman says she's having trouble sleeping after a man exposed himself to her last Thursday

A well-known Vancouver drag queen says the same man may have followed him home a week before

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Two East Vancouver residents fear they were recently targeted by a predator on the prowl, because of their gender presentation.

A well-known drag performer says he was followed home and harassed following a show just after Christmas, while a trans woman says a man exposed himself and masturbated in front of her in broad daylight on Jan. 2.

The otherwise-isolated incidents appear to have taken place just one week and one block apart, leaving their victims emotionally reeling and nervous, says Julian Briggs, the most recent victim.

“I’m trying to get back to normal. I guess the stress is affecting me though, I didn’t realize it would,” she says. “I’m having trouble sleeping and when I am sleeping I’m having nightmares.”

Briggs was standing at an east-bound bus stop at Hastings Street and Nanaimo Street when a man in a silver SUV asked her for directions.

“He was completely a normal looking guy,” says Briggs, describing a Caucasian man between 35 to 45 years old, who is bald and was in nice clothes.

As the man was talking, Briggs noticed he had exposed his penis and was masturbating in her direction.

“With his penis pointed towards me, I guess he was trying to ejaculate on me or something,” she explains.

Shocked, she backed away, realizing no one else knew what was happening. After reporting the incident to police, she posted a brief warning on social media for others to be hyper-aware.

She says she feels violated, taken advantage of, and is on high alert in public now.

“Yesterday I was on the street and a man was saying ‘excuse me,’ because he needed to get onto the street, and I was just like ‘Oh my God, what’s this now, what’s going to happen?’”

‘Now it’s getting a bit unsettling’

Kenneth Wyse says he thought his own worrisome encounter with a man in a silver or grey SUV was a one-off, weird night he wouldn’t have to think about again, until he saw Briggs’ post.

“I was like, okay, now it’s getting a bit unsettling because where that happened was a block from my house,” he says.

Wyse is a well-known drag queen performer known as Kendall Gendr. He was in character following a show earlier on the night of Dec. 27 when he realized someone had tailgated him home.

He says the driver of the cab he was in overshot his apartment by quite a bit, but was unable to turn around because the SUV was parked right behind them, blocking their way.

When the driver pulled into the next intersection to pull a U-turn, the SUV followed closely and, again, parked directly behind the cab.

As soon as Wyse exited the car and headed for his front door, he says the driver of the SUV pulled into the space the cab had been in, blocked the space in front of his apartment building and stared him down.

“I actually live on the ground floor so this person who was tailgating me and staring at me can actually see inside, where I’m going,” Wyse explains.

Wyse waited about two minutes and peeked outside to see the man “just dead parked there, staring at me, parked, literally sitting right out in front of my building,” he says.

He says he’s used to people staring at him, reacting inappropriately, and behaving badly when he’s dressed as Kendall, but he notes a lot of what happened that night felt threatening and weirder than normal.

So, he went back in to change his clothes and ditch his wig in favour of a ballcap, all while planning to confront the man outside. But when Wyse came back, the man had finally left.

Overall, Wyse estimates the SUV was parked with its lights off in front of his apartment for nearly 10 minutes.

“I’m a performer and I put myself out there for shows and for entertainment and I love what I do and it’s my art form, but it’s scary when something like that can be taken in a totally different way that crosses your boundaries,” he tells NEWS 1130.

“At first I thought it was a one-off,” he says, so he decided to post a warning on social media, telling friends and followers to watch out for creeps.

But once he saw Briggs’ warning on Instagram a week later, Wyse also went to police.

“I was like, that is not a coincidence, it’s extremely strange and it made me feel unsettled.”

Vancouver police have confirmed they received a report of a man flashing someone at Hastings Street and Nanaimo Street last week, but add there’s no concern any community or minority group is being targeted at this time.