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The underreported majority: LGBTQ identities and sexual assault


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BY HANNAH BROADBENT News Editor **Disclaimer: names in this article have been changed for the safety of
those involved** According to an article by Al Jazeera America, 42 percent of students who identify as Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning reported having been sexually assaulted. According to the Human
Rights Campaign, 44 percent of lesbian women have experienced rape and/or physical violence.
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Publication: UMD Statesman, University of Minnesota - Duluth, Duluth MN.
BY HANNAH BROADBENT
News Editor
**Disclaimer: names in this article have been changed for the safety of those involved**
According to an article by Al Jazeera America, 42 percent of students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
Transgender and Questioning reported having been sexually assaulted.
Taylor, a UMD student, is one of those students. Except Taylor has never reported their sexual assault story.
Taylor is a pansexual person and identifies using the gender pronouns they and them. This means that Taylor
does not identify as either gender, rather a neutral gender.
Taylor has been attending UMD since they were 16 years old and a junior in highschool. They were a PostSecondary Education Opportunity student senior year as well.
Taylor met a 19 year old heterosexual male student on campus. At that time Taylor identified as a bisexual
woman.
"I was like, wow he's older, wow he's cool and I'm still this little high school student," Taylor said.
The first time Taylor and him hung out they got high together.
"He started touching me and honestly, I was just really excited that this older person was into me," Taylor said.
"I was like, yeah we can do this."
At this time Taylor was also working on their sexual identity. After a few times of hanging out together Taylor
had decided to identify as a lesbian.
"There were a couple of instances where he was kind of scary," Taylor said.
Taylor explained a time when he came over to their house when Taylor's mom was gone. He started being
really touchy and was trying to have sex with them.
"I was like, no I don't want to have sex right now, that's not something I want to do," Taylor said.
Though he kept trying. After a while he gave up and moved to a different seat in the room where he said the
most terrifying thing he could: "You're lucky I am such a nice guy," the man said to Taylor.
At that time Taylor knew that he wasn't a nice guy. Taylor still hung out with him after that which they attribute to
their low self-esteem at the time.
"There were a few other times where we would be hanging out and I would say no and he would keep pushing
and I'd say no and then he'd wait an hour and start pushing again," Taylor said. "I'd be like whatever, we're
going to have sex now because I'm tired of saying no to you."
Taylor said the man knew that they had been identifying as a lesbian at that point and he kept pushing anyway.
"I think it tends to come from some sort of hypermasculinity," Taylor said.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, 44 percent of lesbian women have experienced rape and/or physical
violence.

Taylor didn't realize it was rape at the time.


"We aren't taught that if you don't want to do it and you're doing it just because you want to get someone off
your back that that isn't rape but it absolutely is," Taylor said.
Taylor also said that they weren't out at the time so that also attributed to their not reporting it because they
didn't know exactly what it was.
Taylor thinks that a lot of reporting doesn't happen because people aren't out yet, therefore they feel they can't
report it. Also there have been sexual assault agencies that have been known to not be queer friendly.
"I want people to know that you do have an ally," Taylor said naming the Women's Resource and Action Center
as well as the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault as resources.
It took Taylor three years to talk about it, which is when they realized that it was in fact rape.
"I experienced first hand a non-violent assault I suppose," Taylor said.
Taylor said that there is an idea that sexual assault involves yelling no and always some sort of violent force,
when really that's not always how it happens.
"I didn't say yes, and I didn't want to do it-and that's what rape is," Taylor said.
"Now I can help other people better who might be confused if they were assaulted," Taylor said.
They graduate in the fall and plan to apply to be a PAVSA advocate.
As for reporting, Taylor said that it depends on who you are and what you want to deal with. They said that it
can be a process and add a lot of other emotional burdens after dealing with an already stressful situation.
"But I think that people need to know that they can't get away with it. They need to know something is going to
happen to them because they hurt someone else," Taylor said.
Taylor encourages people to report, but you don't have to shame yourself in doing so.
"I just want people to be okay and know they're not alone," Taylor said.
Repost This Article
Subject: Sex crimes; Rape; Assaults; Gender;
Publication title: University Wire
Publication year: 2015
Publication date: Sep 22, 2015
Year: 2015
Section: News
Publisher: Uloop, Inc.
Place of publication: Carlsbad
Country of publication: United States
Publication subject: General Interest Periodicals--United States
Source type: Newspapers
Language of publication: English
Document type: News
ProQuest document ID: 1714411184
Document URL:
http://du.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1714411184?accountid=14608
Copyright: 2015 UWIRE, a division of Uloop

Last updated: 2015-09-22


Database: ProQuest Central,Social Science Premium Collection

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