Amidst the sea of supporters at Donald Trump's Pennsylvania rally on October 10–one of which wore a "She's a cunt, vote for Trump" tee–was Anna Lehane, 18, wearing a shirt with another bold message: "Grab my pussy, I dare you."
The high school senior attended with two friends, Noah Frace, 18, and Erin May, 17, who wore tops that read "Black Lives Matter." The three of them made the shirts themselves Monday morning after buying tickets for the rally on Friday in response to the release of a 2005 tape in which the Republican presidential nominee made obscene comments about grabbing women "by the pussy."
A brave young woman silent protester at the Wilkes-Barre, PA Trump rally is wearing a home-made T-shirt: "Grab my pussy. I dare you.''- Trip Gabriel (@tripgabriel) October 10, 2016
"I felt disillusioned then with the opinions of [Trump] and any woman who supports him," Lehane tells ELLE.com over the phone, "You can't control how I vote by grabbing my whatever. The fact that I'm a woman doesn't mean that I'm easily influenced or controllable or someone who shouldn't be taken seriously."
Also at Trump rally: teenage protestors. Anna Lehane displays homemade shirt, says it was "civic duty" to speak out. pic.twitter.com/U7UXzdnddE- Laura McCrystal (@LMcCrystal) October 10, 2016
Despite a history of Trump supporters being violent toward protestors, Lehane says danger "didn't cross my mind. It probably should've," she adds, explaining she felt safer with company and "wouldn't have been able to do it without friends." While she wasn't physically harmed while staying through the rally's entirety, Lehane reports "there were a lot of weird comments by creepy old men. One man, he looked to be my grandfather['s age], honestly, he said 'I always like a good dare.'"
One man, he looked to be my grandfather['s age], honestly, he said 'I always like a good dare.'
Along with her shirt, Lehane wore a Bernie Sanders pin. "Hillary Clinton wasn't my first choice, but she stands for women and I stand for women," she says, "And Bernie Sanders supports Hillary now–I'm not just basing my opinions on him, but I think Hillary is definitely the better choice for the President of the United States."
Woman wearing Bernie pin and this T-shirt pic.twitter.com/k2dH4tigT1- Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) October 11, 2016
At the end of the day, Lehane wants "people to talk about the message, not me," she says, "I hope people will take away that the opinion of every person matters. It doesn't matter your race, gender, or age, whatever. You need to value yourself and what you're trying to say and you can't let anybody, no matter how powerful they may seem, quiet you."
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