We met on a gay chat site, and began talking. He told me he was on a business trip. He told me he was staying at this hotel. I went over there. We had drinks, sipped a little bit. He started getting a little touchy-feely. I told him it was too much, but then it started feeling good. Still, I told him that it was not something I want; that it was not why I came over. 

He wouldn’t stop. I started trying to say no and to sit up. He gripped my arms, and his grip quickly tightened. He was trying to restrain me—and it wasn’t sexual at all. It was violent. I kept telling him no. He continued to pin me down. He put his forearm on my chest and forearm, He grabbed my belt buckle. He was stronger than me, larger, more muscular.

And the fighting turned him on. There was no lubrication. He kept forcing me. He kept driving, driving into me. My tears didn’t stop him. My fighting him didn’t stop him, so I stopped trying. Once he realized that I was done, he stopped. I guess he still had a heart, you know. All I could ask him was, “Why are you doing this?”

For the longest time, I blamed myself. I was the reason this happened to me. I felt embarrassed, because of how I met the person. I felt like it was my fault.  I wondered if he slipped something into my drink. And I remember leaving and sitting in my car alone and numb. Asking myself, “Did this just happen?”

I wanted that choice, you know? I went over there thinking that if it happened, it happened. But he took my choice away from me. So, anytime that a sexual partner tries to be aggressive, I freeze. I can’t play like that anymore. I used to like aggressiveness when I felt I had choice, now it turns me cold. You really don’t know how strong the word no is until you realize how little value it has. “No” to someone who cares about you has value. The word means something different to people who care about you. If they don’t care about you, respect you, then they don’t hear “no.”

I don’t know if I grew from my experience or shrank more deeply into myself. I grew to expect that I would be violated from everyone I met. And I no longer meet any potential partners in private; we have to meet in public until I feel more comfortable—and sometimes that comfort never comes.

I didn’t say anything because I was afraid of the outcome. I was terrified for the ones who really loved me and was I terrified of the violence they might experience trying to defend me.

Then I’d be traumatized twice.

After I was raped, I became celibate. For almost a year, I couldn’t open myself up to being touched. I kept silent because I’m gay, Black man who wasn’t out to my family at the time, and I couldn’t deal with the double backlash. People will tell you to swallow the pill, you know? To swallow what happened to you and move forward.

But that pill has side effects, and some side-effects are just as—or more—dangerous than the pill itself.