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A survivor’s tale of sexual abuse draws attention to the plight of male victims

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With an all-formats interview with a survivor, Jeff McMillan told a broader story about the unique difficulties stemming from sexual abuse in gay communities.

It took eight years and the #MeToo movement to spur Sam Schultz to tell police they were sexually assaulted by an opera star and his husband. It took an additional five years for the attackers to plead guilty. Schultz has been saddled with worries from other gay men that talking about sexual abuse in their community will hurt the fight for LBGTQ+ rights. McMillan came across Schultz’ story in the course of reporting on LBGTQ+ issues, and decided he wanted to tell it in the context of the unique difficulties for male survivors of abuse. Most men don’t report abuse, and some elements of gay life in America — like the fact that many men aren’t out with their families and friends, and that because of historical persecution, gay men often gather at bars — are particularly difficult to navigate. He also wanted to do so in a way that was fair and accurate. McMillan worked with videographer David Martin and photographer Seth Wenig to capture Schultz’s journey and added context and clarity through expert interviews. The result is a moving story that shows that the journey to healing after sexual assault can be fraught, for men, too.

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