By Thomas Whitfield
—It’s Not Only Straight Women
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent findings from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey noted that although we don’t hear about it as frequently in the news, the rates for sexual assault amongst LGBTQ people are even higher than for heterosexuals: 44% of lesbians, 61% of bisexual women, 26% of gay men and 37% of bisexual men experience physical violence, stalking or rape by an intimate partner, and a whopping 47% of transgender people are sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime. If you’ve been a victim, there is contact information for help below.
A couple months ago I went out to a bar alone, and I think someone put something in my drink. I don’t remember anything about the night and woke up in some random guy’s apartment. I started to freak out, obviously, and he seemed to not know what the issue was. He told me that he thought
I seemed fine the night before, maybe just drunk, and that we had sex, but used a condom. I’m really freaked out and haven’t had anything to drink since then. I don’t know what to do to get over this. – Male, Gay, 22
Baby, I am so sorry this happened to you, and it sounds like it was very scary for you. It’s probably going to be difficult to find out exactly what happened, but if you really want to, most bars have cameras. If you don’t want to do that, but just want to move on, get tested and see a therapist. Make sure you go to an LGBTQ-affirmative therapist; there are a lot in New York City. You shouldn’t have to feel ashamed or scared that this happened to you, and I hope you’re able to move past it and have fun again when you go out.
Every time I walk through a gay bar, some guy always grabs my ass or my dick, and it’s really starting to piss me off. I always just push their hands away, but it happens all the time. My friends tell me to get over it, that this is just how gay bars have always been since before being gay was as acceptable. But, hello, it’s almost 2020—why am I constantly being groped? – Male, Gay, 28
I agree with you: I don’t like it either. And by definition, it is sexual assault. However, a lot of people will argue that it’s just gay culture, and if you don’t like it, then don’t go to bars. But, that’s really the same mentality of telling women that if they don’t want to get groped they too shouldn’t go to bars. It’s victim blaming, and honestly, gay guys need to learn about consent too. It’s hypocritical for gay men to fight for women’s rights and against sexual assault, then go out to bars and grab people without consent. If you don’t want someone touching you, let them know.
The Anti-Violence Hotline: (212) 714-1141