I can sit here and talk to you about trivial topics, but today I want to discuss something a tad bit serious. for some this article may trigger bad or even suppressed thoughts, emotions, or memories. A vague disclaimer is no body’s friend, so please continue on with caution.
I was online the other day and stumbled upon a story (story will be posted below). This story triggered something inside that I kept suppressed. In about two months it will be nine years since a friend took something from me that they shouldn’t have; my dignity, my personal safety, my free will, and my internal security.
On April 8th, 2004, I went to hang out with some friends. We had a three day weekend from school for Easter. Towards the end of the night I was offered a place to crash instead of going all the way home. It was someone who I was friends with so I didn’t think anything of it. After walking all of our other friends home, we came back to her house. We stopped in the kitchen for drinks. The only items to drink in the fridge were Mountain Dew. We then go to her room and start watching The L Word. Once finished a few episodes, we decided to settle in a bit. So she starts playing Evanescence on her computer, I start to feel lightheaded and lay on her bed. She takes notice and sits on the bed, pulling my legs on her. She asks if I am okay. I try to speak, but I could barely muffle a vowel sound let alone a full sentence or word. I then start feeling her drum on my legs. I try to speak again as I feel her hands start moving up my leg to my thigh. I want to stop her, but cannot. I beg and wish and pray to the Lord and the Lady that she is not going to keep going.
“Can’t she see something is wrong? That I am unresponsive?”
She pops my button undone and unzips my jeans. “Please stop. I’m begging you to stop,” I scream internally. Her hands grab my wrists, moving my arms above my head slightly. Slowly I start going in an out of consciousness. I don’t remember my hood being up, but it was at a random moment. I see her head near mine, grinning she forces her lips onto mine. I want to puke. She forces my head to the left. I blink at trying to read the clock. It was blurry but red numbers clearly said 2:15am. It was now Friday, the 9th; “Good Friday”. Slowly, her hand makes its way between my legs, under my boxer briefs. Clenching my eyes closed, wishing this would end soon.
The next thing I remember is waking up on her floor with a blanked, pillow, pajama pants and a shirt. Slowly parts of the night came flooding back. I dress quickly seeing as I was alone. As I finish typing my shoes I check my phone to text for a ride home. It blinked with a new message. One from my mother saying she would be picking me up after work. Checking the time, I realize I would have about five or six hours until that would occur. Placing my phone in my pocked, she came back to her room. She says we will be going to the bar with her mother and friends to shoot some pool. I nod silently, not knowing why she was acting as if nothing happened.
During those last few hours, I barely said a word. I was entirely stuck in my head. When I was really young, a therapist said I was “selective mute.’ This was the first real episode I can remember having.
Later that night, I piled the clothing I was wearing in a corner, except my hoodie. I sought comfort in that hoodie. I shall spare the details for another issue, but I sat there that night contemplating suicide. Calling a friend to come get me to I wasn’t alone saved me.
The reason I am telling you this all is not for sympathy or pity. It took me nearly nine years, but I claimed my independence from that night and person. The night that I was drugged and raped by a ‘friend’.
I want you to know a few things. Rape is not discriminatory. It does not matter your gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, or occupation. It was be a total stranger, that person at the bar or coffee shop your frequent. It could be a friend, someone you had great fun with for months, hours, or years. I could be someone close to or in your family, your parent’s best friend, your aunt/uncle, or religious figure. It can happen to anyone, by anyone, at any time, at any place, anywhere.
Also, I would like to say firmly, consent is not automatically assumed given. Just because a person is wearing something you deem provocative does not give you consent to touch, kiss, or sleep with them. When someone says “no”, “don’t”, or “stop”, among other negative responses, it means no. If you are in the middle of being intimate with someone and they suddenly say to stop, that means stop. Just because you are dating or are married to someone that does not give you the right to become intimate with them when they refuse or that consent is automatically given. Just because you did not receive a “no”, that does not automatically mean “yes”. An intoxicated or high person cannot give consent. A minor cannot give consent. “No” means “no.” Slurred responses mean “no.” Silence means “no.”
I know this article was long and will make some feel discontent. But it was a necessary voice that needed to be heard. And as you read the brief story below that triggered this article, remember to stay safe. Get your own drinks. Go out with friends instead of alone. And walk down a more active or lit road home, even if it takes longer.
"when i was 16, i had a fake i.d. and decided to go to a gay bar by myself because some friends bailed on me. while there, an older gentleman bought me a drink. he wasn’t a creeper, and he definitely wasn’t unattractive. i accepted the drink and began talking to him. no big deal. as the hour progressed, i felt myself feeling strange. i mentioned that i felt like i had a headache, and this guy helped guide me out of the bar. as we were walking down the street, the thought of, “oh god, he’s drugged me. i’m going to die” came to my head. i tried to get away, but i was so drugged up that i could barely walk, let alone speak. it also didn’t help that i had really large “goth” platform shoes because i was going through a phase. anyway, so this guy brought me to his suv and began undressing me. as a final act of defiance, i hit him over the head with my platform shoe. he then punched me, and i remember thinking, “why don’t they ever give workshops to gay guys about being victims of rape too?” while i was as careful as possible, i never saw the guy slip something in the drink. i even watched the bar tender make the drink. anyway, i lied there completely paralyzed while this pervert was lubing up. i locked eyes with his for a moment, and that’s when it happened. a very large and angry drag queen opened the door of the vehicle and beat the shit out of my attempted rapist. she and her other drag friends helped dress and care for me while the police arrived. i was saved by a group guardian drag queens. they were basically the modern day “angels from heaven.""
-Chance M. DeSilvah