“As an openly gay and single male living in Montreal, I’ve enjoyed the dating scene here in our beautiful city,” David Easey writes in a powerful new op-ed published by his college newspaper The Concordian. “Meeting and engaging with people from all walks of life has always been a passion of mine.”
He continues: “Things all changed one year ago.”
One evening, Easey went over to a man’s house. The two had been on a few dates and things were going well between them.
“Thinking we’d just talk and have a glass of wine, I was looking forward to a quiet evening,” Easey writes. “But to my surprise, I soon discovered the true nature of his intentions.”
Shortly after Easey arrived, the man started coming onto him.
“He kept making sexual advances, which left me caught off-guard and slightly uncomfortable,” he recalls. “His constant persistence eventually ate away at my protective barriers and I was soon unclothed.”
Easey says he initially consented, albeit hesitantly, to having sex, but quickly changed his mind.
“I told the individual to stop,” he says. “He didn’t.”
What happened next was truly a nightmare. The man continued sexually assaulting him, despite Easey’s pleas to be left alone. When he was finished and Easey begged to leave, the man refused to let him, insisting he spend the night.
“I managed to leave sometime later, feeling defiled and vulnerable,” he writes. “I blocked his number as soon as I got in my car and knew I’d never see him again.”
Afterwards, Easey tried going about his life like nothing had happened. It wasn’t until days later that he was struck by the severity of the situation.
“It hit me like a ton of bricks,” he writes. “My consent had been violated and I was harmed by someone I apparently trusted. Suddenly my reality felt like it was shifting and I saw everything through the grey prism of the assault. I blamed myself harshly for being so naive and began to hate myself for allowing this to happen.”
Easey then made the brave decision to go to his university’s Sexual Assault Resource Center, which he says helped him immensely.
“As awkward and painful it was to walk to the Sexual Assault Resource Centre in the dimly lit GM building, I knew talking about it would prove to be cathartic—especially with a professional.”
“It’s been almost one year since the assault and I remain defiant,” he reflects. “The incident may have affected me in many ways, but it has not changed the fabric of my being. I’m still dating, socializing and studying like any normal adult in their early 20s.”
Easey admits that some days are harder than others, “mainly because the memories sometimes come flowing back, especially when I have a drink.” Intimacy, too, is more difficult than before, “because it’s hard to lower my guard,” he says.
He concludes: “I take solace in knowing that I’m not alone fighting this battle. By shining a beacon of light on this dark subject, it is my hope that it may encourage those suffering alone in the shadows to come forward and seek the proper help.”