Strangers in the street have recognized me on sight many times, and shown awareness of the current thread of abuse. To give you one example, in 1992 I was seriously ill, and a manager at work somewhat humorously said that "it wasn't fair" that people were bullying me. A few days later, I attended for the first time a clinic in London as an outpatient, and on my way out was accosted by someone who asked if "they had paid my fare", with emphasis on the word "fare". He repeated the word several times in this different context; that they should have paid my "fare", each time emphasizing the word.
For two and a half years from the time their harassment started until November 1992 I refused to see a psychiatrist, because I reasoned that I was not ill of my own action or fault, but through the stress caused by harassment, and that a lessening of the illness would have to be consequent to a removal of its immediate cause, in other words a cessation of harassment. I also reasoned that since they were taunting me with jokes about mental illness, if I were to seek treatment then the abusers would think that they had "won" and been proved "right". Remember, the constant theme of any persecution is, "we must destroy you because you're X", whether X is a racial or other attribute. In this case the X was "we persecute you because you have brain disease". The similarity of this logic to Nazi attitudes to the mentally ill is striking.
The same manager who'd said "it wasn't fair" asked me in winter 1992 why I didn't seek help from a psychiatrist; was it, he asked, because "they would think they had won" if I sought treatment? That was something I'd never said at work... again, taken separately it proves nothing, but many such things over a period of months proves conclusively that people in the company knew what was going on, and in quite a lot of detail.
Usually harassment in public lacks the level of finesse of "paying your fare". Most people's imagination does not go beyond moronic parroting of the current term of denigration. That is not surprising given the average level of the abusers; if they do not have the intelligence to distinguish wrong from right then neither will they have the capacity for anything other than mindless repetition of a monosyllabic term calculated to fit into their minds.
The first incidents of verbal assault in public were in again in the summer of 1990, although they increased in frequency and venom with time. In July 1990 the first public incident occurred on a tube train on the Northern line. Two men and their girlfriends recognised me; the women sprang to my defence, saying "He looks perfectly normal, he doesn't look ill". Their boyfriends of course knew better, and followed the party line; one of them made reference to an "operation", apparently to work at the tube station but implicitly to a visit that I had made to hospital a couple of weeks previously.
In August 1990 going home from college, soon after getting on a tube train at Gloucester Road I was followed by a group of four youths, who started a chant of abuse. That they were targeting me was confirmed by other people in the carriage, one of whom asked the other "who are they going on at, is it the bloke who just got on?" to which the second replied "yes, I think so". I was tempted to reply, but as in every other instance the abusers are enabled in their cowardice by physically outnumbering the abused; any confrontation would result in my being beaten up, followed by a complaint to the police that "he attacked us", and of course he's ill, so he must have been imagining that we were getting at him. Shitty, aren't they?
But the shittiness of the four youths on the tube train is as nothing compared to the episode on the National Express coach to Dover in the summer of 1992. While going on holiday to the Continent I was verbally set upon by a couple travelling sitting a few rows behind. The boy did the talking, his female companion contributing only a continuous empty giggling noise. He spoke loudly to ensure other people on the coach heard, always about "they" and "this bloke" but never naming either the abusers or the person he was talking about. He said "they" had "found somebody from his school, and he was always really stressed at school". They must have dug deep to find enemies there; perhaps someone who dropped out of school, someone who didn't do too well later, who was jealous and keen to get their own back? The boy also said "he was in a bed and breakfast for only one night and they got him". By a not unexpected coincidence I had been in a B&B in Oxford a week previously, which had been booked from work; other things lead me to the conclusion that the company's offices were bugged for most of the 2 1/2 years that I was there, so "they" would have known a room in the B&B had been booked. (But I'll bet "they" didn't tell the company's managers their offices were bugged, did they?).
After a few minutes of this I went back to where they were sitting and asked where they were travelling. The boy named a village in France, and the girl's giggling suddenly ceased; presumably it permeated to her brain cell what the purpose of the boy's abuse was.
This and other set-up situations are obviously calculated to provoke a direct confrontation which would bring in the police, with the abusers claiming that they were the ones attacked. Again in 1992, outside the house where I was living in Oxford I was physically attacked by someone - not punched, just grabbed by the coat, with some verbals thrown in for good measure. That was something the people at work shouldn't have known about... but soon after a couple of people were talking right in front of me about, "I heard he was attacked". The UK police have a responsibility for preventing assault occurring, but they do not seem to take any interest in meeting that responsibility. I suppose their attitude is that harassment does not come within their remit unless it involves physical assault, and they will only become involved once that happens. That is of course quite the wrong attitude for them to take, but as I now understand, the police investigate only the crime they wish to investigate; if they do not take your complaints seriously then there is nothing you can do to make them take action.