More

A powerful performance explores why men don't come forward after they've been raped.

Talking about being a rape survivor can be rough. Being a guy has a different set of challenges.

Kevin Kantor was 20 years old when he was raped by an acquaintance. He was 22 when he saw the guy again, who was recommended as "people you may know" by the Facebook algorithm. He saw that three friends were friends with the guy too. He saw the normal life things his rapist was doing.

He decided to share his story so more men can come out and not be ashamed of surviving, in a poem called "People You May Know."


<span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>

I spoke with Kevin over chat about why he wrote this piece. He wanted to get some more nuanced things off his chest about the culture we currently live in.

Adam: What were you trying to say with this poem?

Kevin: It may not be explicitly apparent in the poem: The dominant culture that works to shame and silence male victims of sexual violence is the same pervasive rape culture that invalidates all survivors.

"The dominant culture that works to shame and silence male victims of sexual violence is the same pervasive rape culture that invalidates all survivors."

Adam: Did you ever attempt to get justice?

Kevin: I didn't. I never even planned to the hospital, but I called a friend, and he drove me there despite my not wanting to. Which I'm now truly thankful for. They did an exam — I can't remember if they were really testing for anything — I never heard anything back about it.

Adam: You never heard back? Did they offer any counseling or trauma support?

Kevin: A lot of pamphlets.

Adam: Was any of it geared toward guys?

Kevin: I'd say half counseling stuff and half "if you catch something/get pregnant."

Adam: What were the major factors that made you choose not to report it?

Kevin: The real thing that deterred me from reporting was my interaction with the police.

Adam: What happened with the police?

Kevin: It's 3 a.m.-4 a.m. Two male officers — in the room with me in just my hospital gown alone — was how it started. I remember being asked if I was attacked, assaulted, or raped. And I had no idea how to answer that. When I said I didn't know, I very distinctly remember being said to, "If you don't help us we can't help you."

And I don't think I ever spoke again, or if I did, it was saying, "I don't know" or "please leave."

Adam: Had you had any training about rape counseling or prevention at that point in your life?

Kevin: When I was 19, I had undergone crisis training — I worked as a diversity mentor for my college's residence hall. That October, I had emceed our school's Take Back the Night event. It made it all the more surreal.

Adam: I presume most of those campaigns don't have a lot of support material for guys?

Kevin: No. I was scared to say the word rape. I felt like it didn't belong to me. And the part of me that has been trained in social justice knew how ridiculous that was — but I still couldn't cope with it.

Adam: And now?

Kevin: Now I know it's real for me and too many other people to not take ownership of it. Not of victimhood, but survivorship.

Adam: What's the best advice you have for people who are confronted by others who say men can't be raped or don't think it's as serious as it is?

Kevin: Part of me, perhaps a selfish part, wants people to know that my brother, Adam, is probably the biggest inspiration in my life. He has absolutely always been there when I needed him. He raised me.

When he asked me why I didn't fight back, he had no idea what saying that meant. That man loves me beyond measure. I had to realize that sometimes even the people that love you most don't know how to protect you from or deal with the aftermath of trauma, but it doesn't mean they don't love you.

Don't let other people deny the reality of your experiences and the strength you have for surviving them. And it hearkens back to my previous thought: The culture that says men can't be raped is the same one saying other survivors were asking for it.

If you or a loved one have survived a sexual assault, you can learn the facts and get support at RAINN.

If you'd like to see more of Kevin's work, you can Like him on Facebook.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

True

It takes a special type of person to become a nurse. The job requires a combination of energy, empathy, clear mind, oftentimes a strong stomach, and a cheerful attitude. And while people typically think of nursing in a clinical setting, some nurses are driven to work with the people that feel forgotten by society.

Keep Reading Show less

Yuri has a very important message for his co-workers.

While every person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is different, there are some common communication traits that everyone should understand. Many with ASD process language literally and have a hard time understanding body language, social cues, exaggeration and cultural cues.

This can lead to misunderstandings that result in people with ASD appearing to be rude when it wasn't their intent. If more neurotypical people (those without ASD) better understood these communication differences, it’d be much easier for everyone to get along.

A perfect example of this problem and how to fix it was shared by Yuri, a transmasc person who goes by he/they, who posts on TikTok about having ADHD and ASD. In a post that has more than 2.3 million views, Yuri claims he was “booked for a disciplinary meeting for being a bad communicator.”

Keep Reading Show less

Courtesy of Elaine Ahn

True

The energy in a hospital can sometimes feel overwhelming, whether you’re experiencing it as a patient, visitor or employee. However, there are a few one-of-a-kind individuals like Elaine Ahn, an operating room registered nurse in Diamond Bar, California, who thrive under this type of constant pressure.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash

Coming into land… what does this joystick do?

Being a pilot is arguably one of the most demanding jobs in the world. People trust you with their lives and there is virtually zero margin for error. Yet professional pilots do it with seeming ease. If you have ever had the privilege of being in a cockpit while someone’s flying, you'll know they make it appear like it’s a task anyone with any amount of video game knowledge can do. Of course, it’s not that simple. Flying a plane takes up to a year of hands-on training depending on the type of aircraft you’d like to fly and the training program you attend.

Learning to fly a plane is almost always a voluntary decision, except in this one truly noteworthy instance.

Keep Reading Show less

Emily Calandrelli was stopped by TSA agents when she tried to bring her ice packs for pumped milk through airport security.

Traveling without your baby for the first time can be tough. And if you're breastfeeding, it can be even tougher, as you have to pump milk every few hours to keep your body producing enough, to avoid an enormous amount of discomfort and to prevent risk of infection.

But for Emily Calandrelli, taking a recent work trip away from her 10-week-old son was far more challenging than it needed to be.

Calandrelli is a mom of two, an aerospace engineer and the host of the Netflix kids' science show "Emily's Wonder Lab." She was recently taking her first work trip since welcoming her second child, which included a five-hour flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. Calandrelli is breastfeeding her son and had planned to pump just before boarding the plane. She brought ice packs to keep the milk from spoiling during the flight, but when she tried to go through airport security, the TSA agents refused to let her take some of her supplies.

Keep Reading Show less