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WATCH: Gay Male Sexual Assault Survivors Speak Out

WATCH: Gay Male Sexual Assault Survivors Speak Out

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These young men say it can be difficult for male survivors, especially gay ones, to be taken seriously.

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Much attention has been drawn recently to sexual assaults on college campuses -- and now it's not just female survivors who are speaking up.

Men, especially gay or bisexual men, often have difficulty talking about being assaulted or having their charges taken seriously, notes a wide-ranging report published today in The Huffington Post.

"There are words like 'victim' and 'survivor' that are hard to identify with, especially for men," said Jim Hopper, a psychology instructor at Harvard Medical School and a founding board member at 1in6, an advocacy organization for male survivors of sexual assault. "For many men, they don't want to be a 'victim' because it's antithetical to what it means to be a real man."

Andrew, a Brown University student who identifies as queer, was assaulted in his dormitory his freshman year. Gay, bisexual, and queer men often meet with skepticism when they report sexual violence, he said. Others "don't want to think that queer people exist to begin with, so the idea that sexual assault happens in those communities is something people don't want to talk about," he said. "There are some people who also believe [sexual assault] is punishment or retribution for being queer."

Eric, who was assaulted by his freshman-year roommate at Amherst College, believes he was targeted because he's gay. "I was very open about being gay, so I think that's a big part of it; he assaulted me because he knew I was gay," he said. "After that I felt like I couldn't be as out as I was. He thought that was an invitation."

Watch Andrew's video below, and read the full Huffington Post story here.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.