Gay singer-songwriter Lenny Gerard is hoping to bring the issue of domestic and sexual violence toward men to light with a harrowing new music video.
In "Feel Me Now," scenes of Gerard canoodling in bed with a boyfriend are intercut with shots of the pair in a physical altercation. The clip was shot at Los Angeles's Hotel Cortez, best known as the setting for "American Horror Story: Hotel," and concludes with some sobering statistics about intimate partner violence toward men, both gay and straight.
Gerard, 23, told The Huffington Post that he drew on his own experience as a domestic abuse survivor for the video, recalling an attack he experienced by a former partner outside of a New York bar in 2014. Looking back, he said the experience left him wondering if the reaction from bystanders (many of whom he said looked on passively) would have been different if he had been a woman instead of a gay man.
This mission of the "Feel Me Now" video, he told HuffPost, is to "show that domestic and sexual violence is prevalent in the gay community just as much as with our straight allies."
"Men are battered, too, and there need to be more resources for men to turn to and be taken seriously," he said.
Gerard's efforts in support of male domestic violence victims aren't stopping there. In March, he'll launch a social media campaign with the hashtag #menRvictims2 to raise awareness of the issue.
That's what we like to see: an artist use his work for an inspired, empowering cause. Head here to read more about Lenny Gerard.
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