April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and one son of a former NBA star is sharing his story in hopes that it will inspire survivors.
Zeke Thomas is a well established DJ and producer having worked with Jay Z, Lady Gaga, and Diana Ross. He also happens to be the son of NBA legend Isiah Thomas. This past week, Zeke spoke to Good Morning America about his experience getting raped twice, with the most recent incident happening last year. “When it happened again, I was terrified,” he said. “I really felt that my manhood had been taken from me.”
Zeke also spoke on the first time he was raped when he was just 12 years old: “At first I didn’t realize what had happened, what had transpired. I knew that it was wrong, I knew that I did not want it. I did not seek it out.” He continued, “I hadn’t let my family know until much later that this had happened…It was definitely hard for them to hear, and even more hard for them to hear that it happened again.”
When asked how hard it was to admit that he was sexually assaulted, Zeke explained, “Being gay, being African-American, it’s definitely something that I never imagined would happen to me.”
He is now an ambassador for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, an organization with goals of “preventing and responding to sexual violence through collaboration, sharing and creating resources, and promoting research,” according to their site.
He also recorded a PSA supporting survivors:
Though Zeke said he wasn’t ready to press charges at the time he was raped, the 28-year-old admitted that he would do things differently now. “If I could go back, there’s 100 percent I would press charges,” he said. “If we could find…the assailant today, I would 100 percent press charges.”
Zeke goes on to describe how family support, therapy, and music helped him deal with his traumatic experiences. “Music has been very therapeutic to me, and writing the songs, and coming out with music to express the way I feel,” he said.
Now Zeke is ready to speak out, trying to counter the narrative that “1 in 10 male on male victim don’t report it.” He continued, “I want to give the voiceless a voice…The healing really begins with the voice. The healing begins with, this happened to me. I can get through it.” You can watch more of his inspiring story below.