Last week a very young gay friend attended the Trevor Project’s Trevor Live 2015 event. My friend is a proud member of their youth advisory council. The Trevor Project remains one of the most ambitious and honorable LGBT organizations currently available to at risk LGBT young people, providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.
The Trevor Project was founded in 1998 in West Hollywood, California, by James Lecesne, Peggy Rajski, and Randy Stone. Creators of the 1994 Academy Award-winning short film Trevor, a dramedy about Trevor, a gay thirteen-year-old boy who, when rejected by friends because of his sexuality, makes an attempt to take his life.
Before this brave film aired on HBO the filmmakers, realizing that some of the program’s young viewers might face the same kind of crisis as Trevor, searched for a support line to be broadcast during the airing. They discovered that no such helpline existed and decided to dedicate themselves to forming an organization to promote acceptance of LGBTQ youth.
My young friend flew from the east coast to attend the event and by all accounts had a very enjoyable time… until he was sexually assaulted by an older gay man in front of his friends who thought it appropriate to cat call and high five each other when they saw my young friend being inappropriately groped.
It was not the only time that night he was sexually harassed/assaulted.
“I don’t understand why people think it’s ok to grab my ass and say crude, sexually charged comments.” He said.
When I urged him to write to the Trevor Project and let them know what happened he was worried that they wouldn’t take the complaint seriously because the rich white men who had assaulted him were big donors to the Trevor Project.
I could write endlessly about gay white men, their pink privilege, their resistance to the notion of sexual consent and a widely held gay belief that men can’t assault, harass or rape other men.
My friend has (as of today) not written to The Trevor Project to report these incidents at their Trevor Live event. It’s very hard for a young man, recently out, to articulate his disgust for this kind of behavior.
The assault did not take place in a bar or club where these assaults occur all the time… more often than not overlooked by victim and perpetrator. It happened at a fund raising event for at risk youth.