Diversity Rules Magazine

June 2018

Diversity Rules Magazine - _lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning_

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3 Diversity Rules Magazine June 2018 Ron Blake is much more than a sexual assault and PTSD. He graduated with an MPA in Pub- lic Affairs from Indiana University, was elected as a city councilman in suburban Chicago at a young age, was a high school physics teacher, and worked with hundreds of students as a high school cross country and track coach for 15 seasons. Blake was born in Gary, IN and has lived in Phoenix for the last 13 years. His parents, Ron and Rita are retired educators. He has a sister Kris and three brothers: Scott, Matt, and Mark. His parents and brothers live in Indiana (Chicago suburbs) and his sister lives in San Diego. Blake has lived in Los Angeles, San Diego, and England too. I am a gay man. I experienced a trauma that most gay men do not talk about. ree men entered my downtown Phoenix home one night when I was asleep and sick. I was held down that night and sexually assaulted. I almost lost my life before police arrived. I knew all of these men. e police dismissed this sexual assault as a playful misunderstanding between four gay men who had too much to drink. However, I had nothing to drink. And I made the call for help. Justice was not blind on that dark winter night. at dismissiveness exacerbated an already horrific event. I began to isolate badly from society after that night. I was diagnosed with PTSD and life became very uncer- tain and bleak for me as the months passed by. It's as though the world slapped a gag order on me. Sexual assault is especially difficult for us gay men to discuss. ere is a double stigma involved. Many men are not out of the closet because there is still a stigma about being gay. I struggled until I was 35 years old to tell anyone I was gay. And numerous guys are just not comfortable about discussing a sexual assault. ere is indeed a stigma about male sexual assault. We are guys. We are expect- ed to be "tough". Society assumes a lot about us "gays" and sexual as- sault. e three men involved in my sexual assault are gay men. Perpetrators in these crimes are usually not gay though. e truth is this: the majority of men who sexually assault other men identify as straight men. Additionally, being sexually assaulted has nothing at all to do with sexual orientation. ere are straight men. ere are gay men. ere are bisexual men. Each of those men are equally likely to experience a sexual assault. I have been on a most different cross country journey to open up the dialogue about male sexual assault and to overcome my trauma. It all began on a suicidal night I experienced in No- vember 2015. A moment of laughter changed every- thing for me that evening when e Late Show with Stephen Colbert came on my TV. Blake - Con't on page 7 Blake Late Show A Story Of Sexual Assault By Ron Blake

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