Thursday, February 8, 2018

Awwww Yeah vol. 77

Heckler Who Derailed Rose McGowan Book Tour Now Accused of Sexual Misconduct

The story, however, doesn't end there. While we've found no evidence that Dier was paid to heckle McGowan—and Dier denies it—soon after the story started to spread, multiple women accused Dier of unwanted sexual contact while they were between the ages of 12 and 15 and Dier was in her late teens and early 20s.

Dier denies any nonconsensual sexual contact and says that the allegations are attacks from the alt-right as well as McGowan supporters and TERFs, or trans-exclusionary radical feminists. (The term TERF, which is generally considered derogatory by those at whom it is directed, describes feminists who oppose the idea that gender can be self-determined, and—sometimes, but not always—object to trans women in what are historically thought of as female-only spaces, like women's bathrooms, changing rooms, and lesbian music festivals.) Dier, both on Twitter and in a lengthy email, repeatedly claimed that the allegations against her are TERF smear campaigns.
Tweets about Dier's behavior date from as far back as 2010.
I spoke to five people who have accused Dier of wrongdoing, three whom I contacted via social media and two who came to me directly. Most requested anonymity, and their stories were similar: Dier, who at the time presented as male, met pre-teen and teenage girls, either online or at the Smith Haven Mall on Long Island. Then, they allege, she offered them weed or alcohol before coming onto them. Some said they accepted the pot or drinks; some did not. None of them reported Dier to the police or other authorities at the time, saying they felt ashamed and embarrassed.
One of the accusers, Felicia Piciullo, now 19, said Dier hugged, kissed, and sexually touched her without consent when she was 14. She believes that Dier was 19 or 20 at the time. Afterwards, she said, Dier harassed her by sending explicit messages for months, and the experience made her anxious and unsure of herself for years.
Another accuser said Dier preyed upon, flirted, and nonconsenually touched her and other young girls, and the experience left her "tormented." "Andi used me for personal pleasure while preying on my weaknesses to keep me wrapped around her finger," she said. "Andi is no hero. I tried for so many years to see her as an activist. Because, yes, we need that in this day and age—real trans rights activists. But she is a disgrace to the entire LGBTQ community. Andi needs to sit back and accept that she is wrong."
Another accuser who met Dier when she was 14 says at first she thought Dier was her age because "why would someone who had graduated high school be hanging out with us?" Their relationship, she says, was flirty, and she initially enjoyed the attention. "She did a lot to make us feel special and cool, but then when we were alone she was forceful. She would try to kiss me and that made me uncomfortable," she says. One day at the mall, she alleges, Dier shoved her between two vending machines and put her hands inside the girl's pants. "That was probably the last time we had contact," she says, "but I heard she had become an advocate for feminism and trans rights. I thought maybe she had changed but after the Rose McGowan incident, I got really angry. I saw a lot of hypocrisy. She made it about her."
None of the accusers I spoke with said they are opposed to trans rights or trans people at all. One identifies as non-binary; others said they were pansexual, or attracted to people of all genders.
When asked about these allegations, Dier denied claims of nonconsenusal sexual contact. She also provided The Stranger with a lengthy statement and stipulated that we could only quote her if we published it in full. The Stranger declined to publish her full statement as it included allegations against her then-underage accusers and others by name.

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