At various times between the age of 5-10, I was sexually abused by my older brother. My brother talked to me about it when I was 24. He said that it had happened to him and that it had manipulated him into a sense of normality over it, and that he had considered suicide whenever he thought about what he had done to me.
The challenge of being able to talk about it proved more of a struggle than I had ever expected. According to everyone I was surrounded by, only men raped, and only women got raped. Being a cis-man, I felt so ashamed with myself and was terrified that partners would break up with me if they learned my awful secret. It took me another 5 years to tell a single person about it, and I still have extreme anxiety at the thought of anyone finding out. My parents don’t know and I doubt they ever will.
My brother and I are both survivors. Amongst the thousands of amazing people who have accomplished so much good throughout this campaign in past months, I have unfortunately seen many who are perpetuating the myth that only women get raped, and I have seen men’s rape experiences being minimised. My story is not worth less because cis-men get raped less commonly than cis-women or trans people, and whenever I hear someone insinuating as such, it cuts me as deeply as the thought that this has happened to me.