A transgender woman in Hawaii was able to prove that her supervisor was making inappropriate sexual advances at her when she decided to turn on a video recorder and livestream the shocking harassment.
According to the Huffington Post, 21-year-old Makana Milho secretly filmed her boss asking for sexual favors and broadcast an entire 30 minutes of the frightening encounter on Facebook Live. The transgender woman was serving a six-day sentence for a minor theft charge by working a custodial job at a Honolulu park. The sexual harassment began when Makana’s direct supervisor began to touch her inappropriately and prod into her life as a transgender woman.
His sexual propositioning was made even worse by his taunting claims that nobody would believe her if she reported him because she was a felon. However, if Milho completes her community service hours, the felony charge will be removed from her record anyway.
“I decided to record the video after he touched my butt and told me no one would believe me because I’m a felon,” she explained. “I was scared and knew he was right. I could have been raped or killed and feared for my life. When I could, I took out my phone and started to record.”
According to the Daily Beast, the footage of the man harassing the transgender woman was archived on Facebook for several hours and got more than 197,000 views, but eventually, the videos were taken down. Milho reportedly received thousands of comments spewing hate at transgender individuals or even accusing Makana of provoking the supervisor into hitting on her. Some of the comments even came from other transgender people or LGBT individuals.
You can still see a portion of the sexual advances in the video below, which was uploaded with the title “Transgender woman live streams sexual harassment by supervisor” with permission from Makana Milho. The video contains some strong language.
Fortunately, the candid recording was exactly the proof she needed to get justice, and neither her status as a felon nor a transgender woman stopped it from happening. Her supervisor, 47-year-old Harold Villanueva Jr., was arrested and charged with sexual assault. Until Milho’s accusations are investigated and the Facebook Live videos are examined, the man has been suspended without pay. The assault charge only amounts to a misdemeanor, but Milho is thankful the situation didn’t escalate to anything worse.
According to the Star Advertiser, she claimed her boss was asking her very personal and inappropriate questions about being a transgender woman, including whether she was born a woman and even what size her breasts were. She claims she cooperated with her supervisor as best she could without giving in to his advances. She felt she had to do so in order to keep him from growing angry and attacking her.
“I was uncomfortable but continued to answer them as I really didn’t know what to do. I never was in a situation like this and said and did anything to keep me safe and to have proof. I was scared, my power was stripped away from me, it’s the hardest thing I’ve dealt with in life.”
Makana Milho was on her fifth day of community service when she said the work-site supervisor acted inappropriately https://t.co/KHhYM1l1iY
— Star-Advertiser (@StarAdvertiser) July 26, 2016
Transgender women like Makana Milho already face a lot of discrimination in the United States and around in the world. In addition to transgender individuals being frequent targets of violent hate crimes and murders, many face microaggressions and harassment every day. Transgender people were also forced to use the bathroom that coordinates with the sex on their birth certificate, according to a controversial North Carolina bill, which is now under consideration for repeal. The bill was justified by claims that transgender people would violate the privacy of women and young girls in public bathrooms.
“[T]hey say we’re the one who harass people,” said a transgender woman in the comments of Makana’s video. “[N]o, we get harassed. some people are seriously deluded/delusional.”
Do you think it’s smart for transgender women like Makana to livestream any incidents of sexual harassment?
[Image via Makana Milho/Facebook]