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This gay man has shared his #metoo experience for a very important reason

Jasmine Andersson February 28, 2018

A man has come forward to share raise awareness of the stigma surrounding gay men who have suffered sexual harassment.

Evan Nepher, who studied at Oklahoma State University in 2012, has said that he was attacked by his roommate, Nathan Cochran, after sharing a dorm with him for two years.

He woke up in the middle of the night to find the student on top of him, and froze.

“I laid there until it finally stopped,” Newpher said to Tulsa radio station KRJH.

“It’s almost like that fight or flight instinct. I know I always have a lot of fight in me, but it’s in those moments of just sheer terror and you don’t know what’s happening that you just go stiff as a board and you don’t know what to do.”

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 22: Anthony Rapp attends "Star Trek: Discovery" panel during Comic-Con International 2017 at San Diego Convention Center on July 22, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Nepher struggled to come forward to tell his story, and not only internalised the shame of what happened to him, but it affected the way he felt about his then-hidden sexuality.

“Nobody knew that I was gay, and that made me hide and be more shameful about what happened as well. But it doesn’t matter if you are straight or if you are gay and this happens to you, it’s still a problem,” he added.

However, when he reported the assault he discovered that he was one of many people that Cochran had assaulted.

Cochran was arrested and pled guilty to three counts of sexual battery, reported Queerty.

He was sentenced to seven years of probation and has to register as a sex offender.

This week TIME named all those who came forward about sexual harassment and assault, saying #metoo, their person of the year

Now that he has come out of the other side, Nepher wants to encourage other male victims to speak about and report their experiences.

“To come forward isn’t to be a tattle tale or a narc,” he says. “It’s to make sure that it doesn’t happen to someone else because I wasn’t able to ensure that.”

The National Intimate and Partner Violence Survey found that 44 percent of lesbians and 61 percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35 percent of heterosexual women.

The study also found that 40 percent of gay men and 47 percent of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence other than rape, compared to 21 percent of heterosexual men.

More: gay men sexual assault, harassment, metoo, sexual assault

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