Joining the #MeToo movement in India, LGBT rights activist Harish Iyer has shared his story of child sexual abuse on Twitter. Harish, in a series of tweets, revealed how one of his male relatives raped him at the age of 7, and then gangraped him with other men when he was 12 years old.
Seeing so many stories of sexual harassment and rapes being shared on social media, Harish also shared his horrifying ordeal, adding that "telling is only therapy for me".
Below are the tweets in which the activist revealed the kind of atrocity he had to endure during his childhood:
"I have said this so many times telling is only therapy for me. And I know the power of stories. You can judge whatever you want. I was 7 when I was bathed by a male relative almost 5 times my age. He stripped and thrust his penis inside my mouth. He came and he peed. #MeToo".
"The same day he put me on the dining table and thrust his penis inside my anus. I wanted to scream. But I was too scared to even feel scared. I turned numb. I didn't feel pain. I only felt so after I wore my clothes. #MeToo".
"When I was 12 I was gang raped by the men he brought home. I have tasted the blood of my own while I performed oral sex on other men because I was bleeding from my anus. #MeToo".
Harish further said that he was vehemently shamed after he decided to share his story. He said that he had attempted suicide multiple times after his rape was called "gay sex" by many simply because of his sexuality.
"I lived a dual life. The life that I was raped and the life that I was not. And when I chose to speak. I had no other story to look up to of any male survivor who had come out. I became the face. And I was subjected to shaming. #MeToo".
"After a few suicide attempts in college because I was unable to deal with the fact that people saw it as "gay sex" and not rape, with the help of my dog who was my Listener. I decided to speak up in the same college. #MeToo".
He also spoke about how he finally overcame the negative comments and rose with his head held high.
"At an event, I held the microphone and said sarcastically to all the voices that bullied me "I was 7 when I was raped and I loved it". There was silence. And after a while I was greeted to a standing ovation. #MeToo".
"Post that many Survivors spoke up to me in private. My college ensured that every student, teaching and non-teaching staff knew about male child sex abuse. Today, I am an adjunct faculty in the same college. I reclaimed my life. Guru Nanak Khalsa College. #MeToo".
In other tweets, he further went on to say that he does not hold grudge against anyone now, and he believes in reformatory justice and "kindness over anger."
In the last tweet on the thread, Harish clarified that he is homosexual by birth and not because he got raped by men.
"And no, I am not gay because I got raped by a man. Just as women don't blame their heterosexuality on their dark challenges, I don't think my sexuality is a product of my abuse. I'm gay because I am gay Because I am gay," he said in the last tweet.