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#73169 - 04/18/05 10:20 PM Gay men and sexual abuse
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
This is a subject that has been on my mind for many years. It is not a topic that is mentioned much in the gay community I guess because of its sensitive nature.

What I'm talking about is what I perceive to be a distinct lack of support in the gay world, at least in the US, for anti child sexual abuse efforts.

The rationalization I hear is that since gay men are generally thought of to be sexual perverts and interested in 'recruiting' new and younger members--a belief I find is patently false, since most abusers are hetero males--but that this stigman attached to gay men prevents them from addressing the subject.

On a personal level, I have had mixed results in discussing my sexual abuse with other gay men, particularly those not in active recovery from sexual abuse. Among several I got the reaction that as young teens they had craved sexual attention from older males, therefore did not see anything wrong with the adults who had sex with them while they were still juveniles.

One hopes that their attitude has not followed them into adulthood and that they do not see themselves as allowed to have sex with young guys because they 'wanted' it.

I was really discouraged by these reactions--or non-reactions. I am interested in the other experiences of male survivors in regards to the attitude of the gay male community towards sexual abuse.

As a group of people who might feel persecuted or liable for blame, I can see why some gays might not want to have anything to do with the topic of sexual abuse, regardless of their own experiences.

Personally I have made efforts to speak out in gay chat rooms and discussion boards about sexual abuse and how many gay teens are abused.

I hope that in some way gay men can be reached to help educate people about the facts of sexual abuse. That even if a young person or child appears to desire sexual contact, that it is still wrong to have such contact. That it is never OK to have sex with young guys for any reason.

I am really at a standstill on what to do and how to proceed. I know sexual abuse affects so many of us gay guys. And I wish that more people could be educated and be more vocal in their opposition to sex with young people.

I have noticed that in many European countries, especially in France, that many gay discussion boards, chat rooms and other gay organizations have explicit warnings against any sexual activity targetting young people and specific mention of the unacceptablility, illegality and criminal nature of such actions.

Wonder why we don't have that on gay sites in the States?

Why do 'boiz' advertise their youth on gay sites without any outcry from the rest of the gay community?

These are of course, rhetorical questions, but I would be very interested in hearing any feelings or thoughts any other survivors might have.

It's not easy to address a topic like this when many of us have lived our lives in fear of being accused of this very thing. Your comments and thoughts would be most welcome.

Thanks.

Regards,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#73170 - 04/18/05 10:37 PM Re: Gay men and sexual abuse
LostinPA Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/04/05
Posts: 120
Loc: Lancaster, PA
Danny,
That's a tough issue to challenge. For a lot of teens, sex with older men are sometimes sought as a means of teaching them what to do. But still, you are right, that is still abuse. As for me, I know that my numerous rapes by older boys were unwanted even when at times I responded with a degree of pleasure around 16 and 17 before it all stopped. I consider myself as gay but then again I'm not sure? I was married, thinking that is what I was supposed to do. That failed. I met a man afterwards and fell in love and that love was wonderfully returned. That lasted 3 years. That failed because he wanted to be with other men as well. Not for me. Sex has always been confusing as a result of parental and multiple rapes from 9 to 17. I have had no partner since because I don't understand what feels sexually safe anymore. Neither of them worked. My only fulfilling relationship was with the man. So, my consenual sexual experience has been with 1 woman and 1 man. My other sexual experiences were definitely SA and nothing less. So, I guess gay men do struggle with the question, did I want it. Was that what I was looking for? Did that make me gay? Therefore, honestly I think it hasn't outraged the gay community because we don't know how to separate who we are with what might have happened willingly and unwillingly. That is a highly political and almost revolutionary subject that probably should be explored if society felt we "gay" people deserved eqaul attention as the "straight" world.
You sound like a very esoteric deep thinker. It is definitely something to think about.

_________________________
LostinPA
Ric

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#73171 - 04/19/05 07:55 PM Re: Gay men and sexual abuse
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
Danny,

There is no doubt in my mind that younger gay boys can be coerced into sex. It is abuse. When it happened to me I thought that it was my fault, that it was something that I did to attract that attention, and yes, I did enjoy some of it. But it also scared me. I knew it was wrong. I didn't know how to deal with those feelings so I buried them along with my innocence, and I kept those feeling buried for 38 years. I was married to a wonderful woman for almost 34 years, have two wonderful daughters but now that I'm widowed I've finally acknowledged that I'm gay. I probably knew that when I was eleven but didn't know what to call it except the cruel names that others used so disparagingly.

Abuse is abuse. If it happens to a young boy, a youth, or someone in prison, it is still abuse. It cannot be tolerated and should not be tolerated in any caring society. No one is asking for it to happen and no adult should be able to manipulate someone else by using their authority over them. Adults are seen as all-knowing to children. Children don't know how to say no to an adult. It is the responsibility of the adult to protect the child not to blame the child for the adult's treachery and deceit.

Everyone in the gay community needs to come to grips with this issue and take a stand that this will not be tolerated. Boys need to be able to grow up and decide for themselves what their orientation is without being used and abused or being subjected to ridicule by their peers. That's the way I would like it to be in my perfect world anyway. I can still dream.

Steve

_________________________
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

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#73172 - 04/20/05 02:05 AM Re: Gay men and sexual abuse
Russ2 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/28/03
Posts: 77
Danny, there is no "gay community".


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#73173 - 04/20/05 03:33 AM Re: Gay men and sexual abuse
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Thanks, guys, for your responses.

One of the big problems that I had with accepting myself as a gay man (and also liking other gay men) was that I found little regard for the age or maturity of potential sex partners coming from they gay men I was first exposed to.

I am speaking here of older men having sex with younger guys, some of them teenagers. The attitude was one of "Well, they'll learn someday. Might as well be me that gets to him first."

I never heard anyone speak out against such comments and found that attitude, if not the practice to be widespread.

For me as a survivor of sexual abuse which occurred when I was a young teenager, 15, it bothered me tremendously to perceive that was what it meant to desire other men. That there were no rules, no morality, no sense of decency.

I realize now that I was hanging around in gay bars with people who were not the best representatives of what it means to be gay.

I was also probably looking for any reason to hate being gay, since I hated myself and blamed myself for the abusive relationship I had been in as a teenager.

I am shocked to this day to hear gay men comment of pubescent guys or ogle young teens at a swimming pool, for example. Today I am most likely to speak my mind and say something sarcastic like, "What's wrong with you? Why don't you stick to guys your own age. That's just wrong what you're saying.".

The reception I get is like the proverbial turd in the punch bowl, as we say in West Texas.

I'm Ok with being treated like that and personally don't even want to be around guys that have that type of attitude.

It has helped me a lot to pursue my recovery and I suspect a lot of gay men are acting out because they too were sexually abused.

I like the way you express your ideas on the subject, Stephen. Thanks for sharing that. I have thought of approaching some national gay organizations and seeing what types of policies etc. they have on the topic male sexual abuse.

Could be that I'm wrong and that there really is not as big a problem as I think. But I have read from other sources that they perceive the same silence as I do.

Russ, I appreciate your comment also and would like to hear more about the idea you express and more about the topic of the way male sexual abuse is seen by gay American men.

I think I understand what you mean when you say that there is not gay community.

However, someone out there thinks there is such a thing. On a whim I typed in 'gay community' in MSN search.

The results? 94,258,826 results in .15 sec.

So, there's a lot being written about gay community, whether it exists or not.

Thanks for your input. Looking forward to more.

Regards,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#73174 - 04/20/05 09:52 AM Re: Gay men and sexual abuse
LostinPA Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/04/05
Posts: 120
Loc: Lancaster, PA
Coercison (spelling) desire, rape happens to us young and vulneralbe boys needing someone to hold the lost of us. I am still lost but will someone hold me now that I am older and intolerate to abuse? No, that leaves us, the isolated more and more alone and in pain. Our abusers, and in my case there were many, champions of our lives. They stopped us from knowing the real deal, the real love, the real respect of a fellow human for another. What are we to do with our distorted image of humanity? My lonelines overwhelms me. How do you fix that? You are so good at metaphors for healing but you don't meet the scared and vulnerable boys, now men, who can not find there voice still.

_________________________
LostinPA
Ric

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#73175 - 04/20/05 10:52 AM Re: Gay men and sexual abuse
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 797
Loc: North Texas
Hi Danny! I see I came back just in time to see you taking on another bull by the horns! \:\)
Quote:
Among several I got the reaction that as young teens they had craved sexual attention from older males, therefore did not see anything wrong with the adults who had sex with them while they were still juveniles.
This is a lot like a problem the straight community has, they condone young male teens having sex with older women. One of my friends in the navy, boasted about three airline attends kidnapping him, and having sex with him for three days when he was young. He did not see this as wrong, he was a young man sowing his wild oats among three pretty but older Lady's.
Society somehow expects a young man to be more experienced than a young girl and to be able to teach her in the ways of sex, so they turn their heads when he gets that experience from a older lady.
You are right, both societies should not condone it, and should put the responsibility on the older person to say no to the offer of sex by the younger person.

_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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#73176 - 04/20/05 12:13 PM Re: Gay men and sexual abuse
Rustam Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 470
Loc: UK
Hi Danny,

This is something I have thought about and noticed myself. When I ‘came out’ in Ireland over 20 years ago. The catholic church was at the height of its power, gay sex was illegal (though there were few prosecutions) and there was a lot of fear and hatred at the start of that Aids epidemic, murderers who killed gay men got off by saying that the victim had made a pass at them. We had a gay pride march with thirty people in Dublin. Things have changed so much there now but at the time we were treated much the same as paedophiles. We were sexual outlaws just as child abusers often see themselves. The catholic church still has more to say about gay people than paedophiles, the new pope said we are ‘morally intrinsically evil’ and that abuse by priests is done by only one per cent of priests which he says is less than the general population. As far as many people are concerned we are as morally evil as child abusers, any one who was abused or even bothers to think about this would know this is rubbish.

All that is to say that we had been put in the same boat as abusers and treated in the same manner. I don’t think this is an excuse for gay people being less willing to see child abuse as the crime it is but for those not familiar with what child abuse is the attitude to homosexuality may make it less obvious to non-survivors what is wrong with men abusing teenage boys. I guess we can see the clear distinction between adult consensual sex and sexual abuse, more than gay guys who were not abused. The other thing that strikes me is that in a case like Woody Allen’s marrying his wife’s adopted daughter the controversy would be much bigger had it been a young man rather than a woman. I guess the attitude to and hostility to gay people muddy the waters around sexual morality and crimes against children for everyone. For me and any survivor the distinction is clear. The debate around age of consent is not so clear in hetro or gay relationships.
Not sure how clear that is but I think this has something to do with why gay people are not always as clear as we would want about the ethics.

Peter.


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#73177 - 04/20/05 04:05 PM Re: Gay men and sexual abuse
chuck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/03
Posts: 97
Loc: mid atlantic
Danny

Great discussion among the members and your presentation is on the mark. I was abused not by a gay man but my father who hated gays. It was all right for him to molest his own son, but son stay away from gays. In fact both of my parents were intolerant of gays because they attack young boys. Hello? When I confronted my mother about my abuse, she told me we were not to discuss this. As a result I felt abondon and abused for many years up until I was 20.

Abuse of children and teens is not acceptable for me, but the prevailing attitude as you stated among some straights and gays that is okay to molest boys, because it will not hurt them. It will provide an experience they need for the future. For me it comes back to the reality that society needs to accept that boys can and are being abused not because they want it or need it. On the whole we (survivors) need to come out of our isolation, which is a safe place we think. The more we talk about how wrong this is and how much it has hurt, destroyed us; this attitude that it is okay or happens only to a few us will not go away.

My thoughts are not directed at anyone who posted but about the situation of the society we dwell in that doesn't acknowledge this reality.

Chuck


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#73178 - 04/20/05 05:30 PM Re: Gay men and sexual abuse
self_righting Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/05
Posts: 69
Loc: Tampa, FL
Very intersting topic. I've heard Gay men talk about young teen boys in the same way as heterosexual men talk about young teen girls - all this talk about "busting that cherry", etc. Nauseating really. If young people are going to experiment it should be with their peers not adults. The age difference between a teen boy and an adult creates an unquestionable power difference. I also find the notion that young Gay boys need teaching to be repugnant. We don't (usually) allow men to teach our young daughters how to have sex. Boys should learn about sex but.. not from older men. I don't question the notion that teens have sexual desires. We all know they do. I happen to feel that they should express these desires in healthy ways and I don't think that can happen when an adult is "teaching" a boy. I get the feeling that society is OK with young Gay boys being victimized. "There Gay so they are asking for it" is the logic I suppose. Gay boys deserve the same protections we reserve for our heterosexual teen girls and boys. If it were my son, I would prefer he learn with his mates rather than some older guy. I'd be pissed if I felt some guy my age was trying to nail my son. A child is still a child regardless of sexual preference/orientation and no adult should be "teaching" a child how to have sex. Well, that my opinion, anyway.
John


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