Zeke Thomas is opening up about being raped, becoming the face of an epidemic of violence that is rarely spoken about.
“No one ever talks about this,” he tells New York Magazine. “Especially men — gay men. It’s like, is it real, did it happen, is it believable?”
After meeting a man for a drink in a Chicago gay bar, Thomas realized he had been drugged but it was too late to do anything. “All I remember is … getting in the cab. I know I [was] drugged,” he remembers. “I knew probably the moment that it happened because something didn’t taste right. But I didn’t think about it. I just didn’t think about it.”
“It was literally like with Bill Cosby. When those women were like: ‘I woke up and he was fixing me breakfast or whatever.’ I woke up and he was handing me a glass of water and saying, ‘That was great let’s hang out again.’”
Next, Thomas went home and started to realize what happened. “My ass was destroyed. Destroyed. I’m bleeding. And I’m just like — terrified. I didn’t move from my apartment for two days and I didn’t talk to anybody. I froze.”
Now, Thomas is going public about his sexual abuse to help others. He appears in a new PSA released today by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
“I want to give the voiceless a voice,” Thomas told Good Morning America. “The healing really begins with the voice. The healing begins with, this happened to me. I can get through it.”
Over 19.5 million men are the victims of contact sexual violence. Zeke Thomas is one of them.
According to new data released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 19.5 million men are the victims of contact sexual violence, including rape, over the course of their lives. This is in the United States alone.
“I’m encouraging more victims to come forward,” Thomas says of his public role. But the spotlight is something is family is use to.
The son NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, Zeke Thomas has been able to rely on his family along with therapists and doctors for help and support. He says, “They let me know they’re here for me and [said], ‘We’re gonna do everything in our power to help your through this journey.”
“You look at my dad and Magic [Johnson, whose son EJ is also gay]. You have strong black men, whose sons are gay and are also strong black men, who are living their truth and expressing their truth,” he says. “I want every young black, brown, white gay kid to know that we’re going to breathe. We’re going to keep going. We’re going to keep marching.”