NOTE: This week marks one year since I came out about my experience of being sexually assaulted and it was hard to share for various and obvious reasons. be warned that this post may trigger some readers out there, it still triggers me! Still, the truth must be told...
I, Rape Survivor, proclaim that men do get raped, I know this because I was raped. You read that right, and I make no apologies to those who may be offended. Today, I am breaking my silence and coming forward with my story of survival...
The first time someone attempted to sexually assault me, I was just turning 16 and homeless in the streets of New Orleans. I was hanging outside of one of the bars on Rampart (in the French Quarter) and I was starving. To make a long story short, I met a guy and simply asked if I could crash at his place and for food. Thinking that he would be a good samaritan, I got into his car, we went to a fast food restaurant near his house and got food. What happened next made me feel uneasy, he had me to sit in his kitchen and watch him cut the hamburger he purchased in half. I had a terrible feeling as he walked over and handed me half of the burger with the knife still in his hand. "you can have the other half of the burger when we are done fucking." As I refused his advance, he slapped the burger out of my hand and inched closer with the knife. I stood up and continued to refuse and he grabbed me, and he said "Get the fuck out of my house." As small as this may seem, it prepared me for something much worse...
Rape - is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration perpetrated against a person without that person's consent.
As few months later, I spent the night by this guy who I built some trust with, I needed somewhere to lay my head and food on my stomach. He cooked, we watched tv with his friends and after his friends left he made space for me to sleep on his day bed. The last thing that I remember is the smell of italian food and being extremely tired before I went into a deep sleep. I woke up to shockwaves of pain as I lay in a headlock. The smell of blood and spit hit my nose as I blacked out from the pain. It was only a timespan of seconds that I was out, when I came to, lying paralyzed with pain and fear, I could feel him thrust violently as he ejaculated inside of me. I felt the explosion of his cum and the simultaneous bite to my back as he pulled out. I can remember leaving with my clothes in my hand, scared to talk to the police. Who is gonna believe a man raped another man?! It was the first time that a man penetrated me, I didn't even feel human after that, I never spoke about it until now.
Survivor -1. a person or thing that survives. 2. Law. the one of two or more designated persons, as joint tenants or others having a joint interest, who outlives the other or others. 3. a person who continues to function or prosper in spite of opposition, hardship, or setbacks.
Until now, even after the exposure to all of the acceptance for those who have come forward with their truths. Society at large is problematic when it comes to male on male rape, it is laughed at and therefore, a closet exists. A closet where Black gay men dwell until they have the capacity and strength to speak their truth. We hide to avoid the questions of how and why, we hide to avoid answering the questions about whether or not we led our Villains on. Being a male rape survivor tends bring about a line of questioning where folks like to challenge one on his morality. I, rape survivor, will continue to speak out for those very reasons, until the closet is destroyed, until we get to a place where we don't have worry about someone shaming us and experiencing unnecessary judgement. Where responding with chastisement about how something could have been done differently to avoid rape will be frowned upon. The time has come that we should no longer stand for being shamed, ashamed and being made to feel less than human. I, rape survivor am comfortable enough to do what needs to get done and say what needs to be said. I, rape survivor will speak out because WE EXIST.
Ashton P. Woods
When we speak or post about you and whiteness in any venue, especially social media, it really isn't intended for you to share or express your opinion about the subject matter. Seemingly, you appear to have this need, a need to have a say, to give permission in order for our Black words and thoughts to have weight. The FACT is that your opinion is not the one that matters, we say what we say without need of your acceptance or approval. Our posts, blogs and other expressions regarding our experiences with you (even this one) are not an invitation for you to opine a counter argument. What y'all like to do is spew vitriol, show your fragility and tell us how we should view our experiences. You don't get to tell us how we process the experiences of our blackness and you can keep that white gaze bullshit to yourself. We did not give you permission to defend yourselves to us. We really don't want to hear it, you don't get come talking that "not all white people" bullshit while trying to claim acceptance of our experience with your racist ass counterparts.
"I accept your views and all. But there is a way to deliver it. Quite frankly, truth also hurts that black people kill each other all the time and never flinch. But when white people do it, we're all supposed to feel guilty? It doesn't work like that." - Random Becky
A lot of you whites think that you "accept" our thoughts that we share, but you really don't! You spew micro-aggressions by pointing out shit like the Black on Black crime myth while still feeling like YOU somehow have a right to our bodies and minds, to give us permission. You like to think that you are more intelligent than us, but your mediocrity always shines through when you use terms and phrases coined from your white gaze. Take the example of Black on Black crime that y'all like to lean on so much, it is actually called intra - racial crime and pretty much occurs at the same rate across racial groups. But I digress, for too long we've had to go along with what white folks have told us about who we were, are, and should be. Because of this need to tell us who we should be (you know, for your comfort) tone policing and gas lighting have become tools to protect your white privilege.
- Gas-lighting -
To manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.
- Tone Policing -
When arguments produced in an angry tone are dismissed irrespective of the legitimacy of the argument.
Tell me the last time you went into white only spaces an attempted to correct your cohorts like you attempt to do in black spaces. You don't get to tell us how we should speak about an issue, you don't get to tone police us. You don't get to gaslight us. NO, You don't get a say on how we say or do anything. You are being told NO, and you probably should have gotten used to it years ago. Unfortunately your whiteness is set up in a way that being told no is not a viable option for you. Permission was never granted for you to walk into our personal places, spaces, and bubbles to reach out touch us in ways that violate us. Yet, in your whiteness you will claim that you acted out of "curiosity" and will act as if said curiosity is what gave you permission. This claim of curiosity will get you into a world of trouble, as you should be warned that we ain't and won't be peaceful when you violate us. White allies are guilty of this, especially when it comes to spaces and tone policing. Even the BEST White allies/accomplices tend to overstep with their solidarity. White folks get over zealous in their support and when this happens they start speaking when we should speak for ourselves.
"What I do know is white people will protect themselves before saving or protecting Black lives. yes, even the anti racist white people." - Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Stop trying to lead in this movement in a way that centers you, the movements of the marginalized are not your movements, you play a support role. The Black Lives Matter movement is not yours. You don't deserve the attention, the Black people you support deserve that. Do not speak for us when we can speak for ourselves, we don't need a translator so that your white cohorts can understand. Stop saying "us" and "we," when you post and speak about issues that directly affects/effects the Black community. You don't know what it is to be part of the Black diaspora. You are needed in the spaces where you don't normally see Black folks or even in spaces where we are not welcome, that is when you you speak up. Then after you speak up, bring a Black person into the space so we can speak for ourselves. I could say more, but I have given this too much attention...
Ashton P. Woods
By: Prince Royce Worthington
Adapted from: The Magical Beautiful Petty Black Prince
*A fellow blogger and friend was banned for THIRTY days on Facebook for sharing a PRO BLACK blog post that he published in March. I have been banned multiple times for the same reasons and WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED!
If I read another rambling think piece or watch another whiny YouTube video about some dejected and rejected Black Gay Man (or any other ethnicity of gay man for that matter) waxing poetic about how racist it is for White Gay Men to rebuke them based solely on race I am going to smash my head through a wall, seriously…
What is wrong with you people?
Are you that enamored by the white gaze and white supremacy that you will willingly subject yourselves to overt racism and constant microaggressions in order to be accepted by men who literally view you as a sexual fetish and nothing more?
Before I go into it please watch this video of an Asian Man (and a good looking fella at that) pleading with his “friends”–that he clearly wants to be more than just friends with–to stop being racist towards him and other Asian Gays…
Chile, I barely got through it. And if you search for them you will find a glut of these videos with men of color imploring their white counterparts to stop being racist towards them…
“White men, please stop objectifying me for my dick. I am a Black Man I am more than a dick.”
“Dear White Men: Not all Asian Men are (insert every single Anti Asian sentiment that you’ve ever heard or seen in the gay community. Trust me there are a plethora of them)…
Or the most popular, which is clearly pandering, “Dear White Gay Men: Please stop basing your preferences on race.”
I’m sorry but I really don’t understand this foolishness. Perhaps it is because I’ve never willingly subjected myself to this. 99% of the men that I’ve dated (and still date) are Black Men (specifically other African Americans. Although I’ve dated a few dudes from abroad too). Overwhelmingly, that is what I am most attracted to and I’ve no shame in that. Granted, I’ve dated a couple of white men here and there but I wasn’t completely into the few I’ve dated so it fizzled. Primarily because, without fail, they would say and do certain things that were TOTALLY racist, and they had no clue until I came right out and told them, “Hey, that was fucked up.” So, to that end I refuse to put myself in that type of situation nor am I going to act as a race relations professor in a relationship. I want to experience: love, joy, sex, and romance in a relationship, not blocking microaggressions that will inevitably occur. Again, I am open to the possibility of interracial romance (especially if it is Chris Hemsworth. Uhm YUMMY); however, the white guy in question will have to be a super special snowflake amongst the intensely RACIST microcosm that is the Gay “Community.”
Many gays seem to labor under this mass delusion that simply because they know what it is like to be excluded from hetero-normalcy that somehow they GET IT. They believe that they “get” what racism is, how it works, and that it can’t possibly ever be them. Most white people, gays in specific, believe that being a racist means dressing up in a Klan outfit, burning crosses, and saying “NIGGER” in front of a black person. Otherwise, it was just this horrible occurrence that was abolished when Lincoln freed the slaves and MLK said, “I have a dream.”
However, what we fail to understand is that, before we are gay, we come from the same White Supremacist pathology that saturates the united states of America (the globe for that matter, but for the sake of this writing I am using America for specificity). White Gay Men are still, first and foremost, White Men in a society that privileges Whiteness and Maleness, period. They grow up in the same culture that prioritizes whiteness and degenerates blackness. They grow up in the same racist communities that their heterosexual counterparts do. They have that same racist white uncle who makes anti Black/Asian/Mexican jokes at holiday dinners. Before anyone knows that they are gay they are first and foremost white, and by proxy, whiteness is central to their identity…
Which is why I do not understand you Black and Asian men, with your GRINDR accounts, looking to hook up with White Men (because in certain regions GRINDR is totally white) and being disgruntled when you see, “No Blacks, No Asians, No Fats, No Fems…Just a preference” on every other profile. What do you expect? The gay world prioritizes White Frat boys with blond hair and chiseled abs. You don’t fit into that all. Instead most of them see you as a fetish or potential flavor of the month. When they want to indulge their “Kink” more often than not you are the kink. But hey if you are one of those Negroes that enjoys being fetishized by white gay men then more power to you, nobody is stopping you. But be honest with yourself and stop placing this onus on racist white men.
Racist white men are going to do them (literally and figuratively). Racism, sexism, and all of the other isms do not impact them. They live in their little bubble where the only thing they’ve had to overcome is homophobia. So when that is no longer an issue why do you think that, all of a sudden, those who are raised in a macro-system that prioritizes them and denigrates YOU, they are going to give you their unrelenting support, including their asses, dicks, and hearts? No, that is not how racism and privilege work boo!
What I implore Black (the entire diaspora), Asian, Non White Latinos, and various others to do is to begin unpacking their own baggage. Why is it so important for you to acquire the affections and attentions of white men? Granted, this is a rhetorical question (we are all mired down in white supremacist pathology) but why don’t you stop to think about where it all comes from.
What would make you sit in a room full of white men and listen to, “Not to be racist but…” (and everything that follows will be vehemently racist) Why would you want to be viewed as just your Big Black Cock and how you fuck or your stereotypical ability to be the submissive Asian bottom? Moreover, why do you willingly and continuously reject beautiful men that look like you and have more in common with you just to acquire the white gaze.
If you say that, “It is just a preference” you are a damn liar. Preferences are acquired. They don’t happen in a vacuum. Preferences are like ice cream. I may PREFER vanilla but occasionally I am willing to try Strawberry and find that I like it too. Preferences can and do change and the idea that someone can be born and raised in a Black and or Asian community and suddenly grow up to ONLY “prefer” people who do not look like them as lovers and partners is indicative of a larger issue.
So before you write the next maudlin think piece about why racist white men don’t want you (easy, it’s because they’re are racist) ask yourself why you don’t want yourself. That is the most important inqueery (misspelling intentional. I just thought that was cute).
April of 2008 I took a test at a drop in center in the Montrose area of Houston. Something felt different this time because the results took longer than normal to come back via the person who conducted my test. He came and he looked petrified, maybe because we knew each other, it was probably the hardest thing he had to do that day. It took him about 3 minutes to even say what he needed to say to me, and when he finally revealed my results to me, it was like a horrible dream. The odd thing about the situation is that I was eerily calm and I usually like that in crisis mode.
I flashed back to the fall of 2007 and early 2008 when I suddenly remembered the dry heaving coughs and the recurring flu like symptoms. This happened as I went through how I could have contracted it, and we talked about the fact that he needed to do a blood draw for a confirmatory test. By this point, Everything that I had learned about HIV over the years came flooding back to me and as I broke out in hives I asked myself, "What you gone do bitch?" For context, the question meant that I could not sulk because it was always a risk that I was taking when I had unprotected sex and that I could handle it. A little while later, my blood test also came back confirmatory positive, I was set up with a care provider who would walk me through labs and how to maintain my health.
A few years later I came out to the world about my status to the world with the sole purpose to educate and break stigma. I just had no idea that it would be so impactful... Here is how I came out.