For the last fifteen years I have been in awe of a man I will call Tom. Tom and I met as teens and I was always there to support him emotionally during the pinnacle moments of his life: coming out as gay, coming out as a victim of child molestation, coming out as a heroin addict…and, as of last week, coming out as a rape survivor.
Tom will forever be one of the loves of my life not only because of what he has endured, but because of what he has continued to endure, document, and share with the world.
Last week, my dear gay boyfriend was violently sexually assaulted by two men after consuming a single glass of wine at a party–a glass laced with a date rape drug. After he was unable to defend himself, the men choked him to the point where his trachea was affected and his collarbone was broken. When they finished torturing Tom, they left him completely alone to pick up the pieces–his identity was shattered and he is desperately attempting to recognize himself in the mirror.
Tom has proven to have strength beyond comprehension when he reported the incident. Hospital staff and police expressed disbelief upon learning the neighborhood in which this event occurred as well as the fact that the victim was/is male. Thank you Boston PD for your incredulous revictimization.
Although the events mentioned have taken a toll on my artistic, loving, beautiful friend, he is fighting to find his “normal” again. His apologies for crying or coughing on the phone only incite my frustration with his victimizers with threats to smack him upside the head next time I see him–he has no reason to apologize. He has no reason to succumb to society’s tendency to blame the victim regarding rape in the homosexual community.
Tom (whose name is not Tom)…you always have been and remain my hero. I love you.
Tom has shared his story on Facebook and is struggling but gave me permission to write this. He has a gentle soul and I feel the need to fight for him and spread the word that no neighborhood, community, or gender is safe. Be aware of drinks you have not mixed yourself and “new friends.”