A year ago in February, Josh “Zeke” Thomas, the 28-year-old musician son of NBA legend Isiah Thomas, was raped, in his own apartment, by a man he met on Grindr. The experience came as close as any in his, in many ways, pretty charmed life to destroying him. “No one ever talks about this,” he says. “Especially men — gay men. It’s like, is it real, did it happen, is it believable?” He takes a deep breath.
I’ve known Thomas for a few years now through my boyfriend. They met at a party after Thomas took it upon himself to push aside a DJ who was doing a lame job; my boyfriend went up and thanked him for doing so. I’ve never not seen him in a state of wide-eyed, tongue-out (an oft-deployed Instagram face of his) charismatic bounce. But on this tentatively sunny late-spring New York day — just back from a weekend at Coachella where he’d DJed three gigs and still had his anti-desert-dust filtration bandanna hanging out of his pocket — he was, at least for him, subdued, as he tells me what happened to him and what happened a year ago when he was living in Chicago and making EDM music there.