An Austin, Texas-based comedian named Sean Kent is calling for a national conversation on sexual assault in the wake of numerous allegations against Donald Trump, and he’s started by powerfully sharing his own experience.
On October 14, the comedian revealed his over 26,000 followers on Twitter that he was assaulted at the age of 21. He said he was inspired to share his assault after hearing the stories of the several women who say they’ve been assaulted by Trump. Kent tweeted:
In the series of tweets, which can be read in their entirety on Twitter, Kent says that he was assaulted by a male talent manager who approached him on the pretense of work, befriended him, and then later molested him during what he believed to be a platonic hang out at the agent’s home. He never reported the incident, due to shame and the stigma around men being sexually assaulted.
Kent admits that stigma made him feel a little hesitant about going public with his story.
“Putting my story out on Twitter was uncomfortable,” Kent told The Huffington Post.
“I woke up the morning after and wished I hadn’t done it. I felt raw and used up," he said. But he noted the response from other survivors helped him through.
"It was only the outpouring of love and support from people online, many of them survivors of abuse themselves telling me it helped them, that got me through it.”
Despite his discomfort, the comedian felt compelled to speak out in solidarity with the woman who have made allegations against Trump. After sharing his story, Kent pointed out the fact that while he can finally share is story without fear, the women who have come out with allegations against Donald Trump still face unfair scrutiny:
Later, the comedian called for a need to #stopthesilence that so many victims of rape and sexual assault succumb to, for fear of not being believed. “There are hundreds of reasons people don’t come forward right away,” Kent told The Huffington Post. “Shame, humiliation, fear of repercussions if it’s an authority figure. Not to mention that coming forward is admitting to your self that the abuse happened and that it was bad.”
He added in his tweets:
”If we don’t [speak out about] then the next generation and the one after that and on and on will be in the same place mentally as we are,” Kent says.
“I don’t even mean [sharing] it on Twitter like the serial oversharer that I am. It can be as small as telling one person you trust. The minute you do that, your healing will begin.”
So far, over a dozen women have made allegations against Donald Trump of sexual assault, with many more accusing the candidate of sexual harassment and misconduct.
Kent’s story serves as an important reminder of the pervasiveness of rape culture. The more we silence the women who have spoken out against men like Trump, the more we contribute to a culture in which people in positions of power feel emboldened to take advantage of others ― and then brag about it.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.
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