Tiffany Steinberg and Jessica Lundquist are a California-based couple who have been dating almost three years. On 15 October, they were harassed on the Huntington Beach pier for being gay. They filmed the encounter in a video that has since gone viral.
GSN reached out to Steinberg and Lundquist about their experience.
‘We were walking down the pier Sunday night. Just enjoying the night and the fresh air,’ Steinberg recalls. ‘As we walk we often hold hands, which we did in this situation. Jessica stopped to take a Snapchat video off the pier and suddenly I noticed a man walking very quickly towards us.’
‘This confused me because the pier was not crowded and I couldn’t figure out why he would be walking directly in our path. He began by telling us that we were sinners and that we would be going to hell.’
The video, which was uploaded the next day and has since gotten over 100,000 views, shows most of the uncomfortable encounter. According to the couple, the reaction to the video has been ‘overwhelmingly positive.’
‘We never imagined the amount of support we would receive,’ Lundquist says. ‘We received hundreds of comments/messages from people giving well wishes and saying how angry they would have been in that situation.’
Thanks to social media, Steinberg and Lundquist were informed of the man’s identity.
The man shown harassing the couple in the video is Anthony A Miskulin, who has made his Facebook account private since the video went viral. Though he claimed to be a lawyer, that turned out to be false.
‘People dug up past information and complaints made about him,’ Lundquist explains. ‘They are also people claiming to have seen this man before and a few people claim they know him.’
According to OC Weekly, Miskulin is a 38-year-old Trump supporter. He was interviewed last year by the Los Angeles Times about why he voted for Trump. OC Weekly also reports that Miskulin is a climate change denier, a Conservative Christian, and a fan of the controversial InfoWars. He works in corporate sales.
Steinberg and Lundquist’s cringe-worthy encounter with Miskulin came around the time of the trending #MeToo hashtag about sexual harassment and assault.
‘I thought it was ironic that this was happening right when the #metoo campaign was blowing up,’ Lundquist says. ‘Although it was not sexual harassment or assault, I believe it does tie into misogyny. I think as two women walking alone we were more approachable to him. He might have also viewed us as easier targets. Also the fact that he could not respect us enough to leave us alone when we asked says a lot about his treatment of women and people in general.’
Steinberg and Lundquist run a popular YouTube channel with over 32,000 subscribers. After their experience with Miskulin, they made a YouTube video explaining, in detail, what happened.
In terms of advice the couple would give to any other LGBTI person being harassed, they say not to be afraid to stick up for yourself.
‘This world is a scary place, but we can’t let people like him belittle us. We wish more bystanders would have stepped in, but we understand that approaching these types of situations can be tricky. We hope this video helps to shed light on the fact that things like this still happen everyday. Even in a state as liberal as California.’