Award-winning author Junot Díaz revealed that he had been raped at the age of 8 in a powerful and moving essay featured in The New Yorker. The essay describes how the rape affected Díaz and how he suffered to accept what happened to him. “The rape excluded me from manhood, from love, from everything,” Díaz wrote.
Díaz also spoke about what it felt like to finally talk about the rape and the good it did to speak about it with his therapist, his partner and his friends. Díaz alluded to himself as having worn multiple masks to deal with the trauma prior to opening up.
His essay comes as an important reminder that the #MeToo movement is a movement for all genders. By exposing himself to open discourse, Díaz is showing the world that anyone and everyone can be a victim of rape and suffer its traumatic after-effects.
So far, the #MeToo movement has mostly been championed by strong women who have come forward to tell their stories. Díaz’s essay provides the voice of a vulnerable yet strong man showing that he, too, is a part of this movement.
The essay is a reminder to anyone of any background who may have been a victim of rape that they have the power to speak out about what happened to them. They have the power to stand in solidarity with other people who have gone through similar events and fight to overcome their past tragedies together.