Content creator Lilly Contino was dining with her dog at the Cheesecake Factory in San Francisco’s Union Square while live-streaming a conversation with her followers when an unidentified woman began harassing her.
In the footage, the woman is heard proudly describing herself as a TERF to Ms Contino – an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist meaning a person who sees themself as a feminist but who is transphobic.
“You know I’m a TERF right? Trans-eccentric radical feminist,” the woman is heard saying off-camera.
When Ms Contino asks if she is a TERF, the woman doubles down saying: “I am a TERF.”
She then asks Ms Contino if she wants her to move away, to which Ms Contino responds: “No, actually, you should tell me about being a TERF.”
At that point, the woman misgenders Ms Contino saying: “You’re a boy, right?”
She then begins to threaten Ms Contino with physical violence.
“Don’t f*** with me, ‘cause honestly I hit. I hit hard,” she says.
The incident continues with the woman telling Ms Contino not to “judge” her for being a TERF and telling her “I get to be who I want to be and you get to be who you want to be”.
A self-identified TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) threatened me at the @cheesecake factory. I happened to be streaming at the time and caught the encounter on camera. This happened at the Union Square location in San francisco
♬ original sound - lillytino
She then tells Ms Contino to “take your stupid dog, eat your f***ing food and get the f*** out of my life” before saying she will “have to label you a white racist”.
Ms Contino then asks to speak to the manager of the restaurant who is heard off-camera apologising for the incident.
Ms Contino shared a clip of the encounter on her TikTok platform and, as of Monday morning, it had racked up 9.7 million views.
Ms Contino explained to KPIX that the harassment first began when the woman started telling jokes and then offered to show her a surgery scar on her stomach.
When she politely turned her down, the woman replied: “I’ll show you if I want to, son.”
“And, of course, as a trans person, I’m more sensitive to gender language,” Ms Contino said.
She said that she became more shocked as the incident went on, saying that nothing like that had ever happened to her before.
She was especially shocked, she said, given that she had moved from Georgia to the liberal city of San Francisco.
“I was just like flabbergasted. I’ve never been physically threatened in public. I’ve never been berated in public,” she said.
“Part of this was just shock and disbelief that this was happening. I live in San Francisco for a reason. I live here because it’s a liberal city, it’s one of the most queer-friendly cities in the world.
“To have it happen in such a public place and have nobody help.”