She screamed and cried out in pain, her arms flailing and her legs kicking as she tried to fight off her attackers. Tears rolled down her face and she screamed as one man replaced the other and her violation continued. Her left shoulder pulled out of joint as she was held down and her soul was torn apart as she realized that this was what her father had done, this was what the exchange of money was for. Her father had sold not only her virginity, but her soul and a large chunk of her spirit to the highest bidder. Her cries for help were met with fists to her stomach, hands to her mouth and furious growls telling her to shut the fuck up.
She was four and no one heard her cry for help.
The same girl six years later is being raped again, this time there was no money involved, but the tragedy is just as bad. This time she is being raped anally, with her siblings in the same room, her cries for help are muffled behind her attacker's hand as he grunts in her ear. When she tells her mother, she is chastised for "letting" the boy do that to her. She is told that she is wrong for letting it happen and knowing that her mother feels this way, she cannot share her shame that she enjoyed it a little bit and that to her, she felt that that was the only way that she should be having sex. That she shouldn't actually have a vagina in the first place.
That she should in fact be a boy.
Taking a shower at her mother's command, she scrubs herself raw, until she bleeds, desperately longing to be clean again. Her shower is over, but the feeling of shame lingers. She cannot feel the way that she does, the way that she always has. There's something wrong with her and perhaps her attacker could see it? Perhaps he knew what she only dreamed of, that she should have been a boy, but more than that, he saw that there was a part of her that while her entire being hated being violated, a part of her longed to have sex in that way.
She'd cried for help, but no one heard her.
This same girl begins drinking a year later and is an alcoholic by the time she turns twelve. She turns to drugs, beginning with marijuana, turning to cocaine and ecstasy by the time she's thirteen. She's depressed and suicidal, she prays for death, she's anorexic and bulimic, obsessed with looking like a girl, a beautiful girl, because beautiful girls don't get raped or sold into prostitution. Girls who actually act like girls, who don't want to be boys, aren't the ones who are attacked, it's only the ones who are boys on the inside, acting like girls who are beat up and raped...right?
Three more rapes occur. Two abusive relationships. Six suicide attempts. Within six years.
She's crying for help, hoping that someone will tell her that it's okay to be him, it's okay to be himself. It's okay to tell someone what has happened, it's okay to be angry, to be sad, to be hurt and broken.
He's hoping that someone, anyone, will care enough to hold him, to hear his cry for help and tell him that everything will be okay, that it will get better.
He's waiting for someone to finally help him.
The Exodus Project Group Home
I got the idea for TEP-GH when I was a sophomore in high school, when I was crying out for help and no one could hear me or would take the time out to help me. My addictions and promiscuity, my eating disorders, depression, suicide attempts, my misplaced anger and apathy were all cries for help, but no one was listening. There were no resources in Polk County, Florida to help a troubled teen beyond juvie, the mental institution and the church, whose solution was prayer and baptism.
I eventually overcame the tragic hell that my life had become. It took years before I got off drugs and realized that I was more than my body. Years before I decided to live my truth and came out a a transgender male homosexual. Years before I told someone the horror and abuse that I'd suffered as a child.
Twenty-eight years before I finally asked for help.
I don't want to hear about another teenager committing suicide or another teen being kicked out of their home for coming out, for living their truth, by overzealous religious parents and being forced to live on the streets, selling their bodies to get money for food, in order to eat. It sickens me and makes me sad.
Yes, I know I could give money and sign petitions, I can do "It Gets Better" videos and tweet about it and I've done all of those things, but to me, for me, that's not enough.
So yes, I'm still writing, but I'm also working on my main goal, my biggest dream and the deepest desire of my heart which is the group home for at-risk and homeless teenagers, with an emphasis on rainbow kids. Because the transgender boy from the beginning of this post was me. That was my journey, my truth, my story.
I didn't have anyone who helped me before I got in high school and had friends who I could run to when I didn't have anyone else. I know that I'm an exception to the rule, a "walking miracle" as my Granny Mary used to call me. I'm aware of this. But I don't want that to be a truth, I want to help. I have to help. For the 12 year old me who took his first sip of whiskey to dull the pain. For the 13 year old me who had his first hit of cocaine because he knew that if he told his parents that he was really a boy that they would kick him out and disown him (because they'd told him as much in a round about way), and he really just didn't want to deal with reality. I know that I have to do more.
So this is what I'm working on when I'm not writing or doing covers or talking to the boy or working on stuff for Rooster & Pig. I'm working on this, because I know that in order for me to change or save the world, I have to start somewhere. And I'm choosing to start here.
-Vicktor Aleksandr B