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 ejaculation 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