I would like to highlight a few points of misunderstanding in your rant and what you said in the video.
1) When Cathy asked if someone would like to sit on her lap, she was not sexually harassing anyone. She was asking a funny, light-hearted question in an attempt to help diffuse an emotionally tense situation. Perhaps you would have done something different, but she is her and that was her way of trying; she was frightened by the possible escalation to physical violence and wanted to stifle it.
2) When she says “trans women are not female,” she is not saying they are not women. She makes a distinction between biological sex and mental gender. Thus, trans women are women in that they are classed among women, but they have male biology. A penis is a male sex organ and cannot be used to carry children, and is thus not a female sex organ. That is all she means, and bears no ill towards your friend.
3) She probably misgendered your friend because she appeared and sounded very male. Human biases on appearance and voice are hard to overcome, even when people try their utmost best. I honestly have the same issue with some trans women I know, even though I put forward by best effort to comfort them.
That said, you were all about pushing your friends point of view and dismissing Cathy’s. In fact, the entire event was you putting Cathy in a situation where she could not leave unless she dismissed how she felt and admitted that she did the things you merely perceived her doing. Keep in mind that we live in our minds; your own interpretation of things is not the only one that exists.
In your mind, Cathy was being a dismissive asshole. In Cathy’s mind, she was frightened and just wanted to get out of that hostile situation and back to the dyke march. That is the reason that she was being dismissive, not because she wanted to hurt or erase people, but because she wanted to get on with having a good time and you and your friend put her in a situation where she felt unsafe to do so.
Taking away someone’s feeling of safety and autonomy is the definition of assault. You took your friend’s side over hers, and whoever’s opinion is correct does not matter once you’ve verbally assaulted someone for at least 20 minutes.
It’s almost 6am here in New York City. I just got back from a long night of partying post-Dyke March, my very first Dyke March ever. I was honored to lead the march with the banner, touched to see so many of our allies cheering us on, and just proud to be able to celebrate being who I am. Now, as…