Imagine this: You wake up, pour yourself some coffee and check your email. An acquaintance — and it’s not even someone you particularly like — has emailed a video link with the subject header “Is this you???”
So you click. And it is. It is. It is. It’s you, in a highly vulnerable position: having sex with an acquaintance — and it’s not even someone you particularly liked.
You can try to reach out to the tube site that posted the vid, but a simple search reveals people have already downloaded and uploaded it to other sites. The scene is only seven minutes, but it’s fifteen minutes of fame you never volunteered for. You’re officially and unwittingly an Internet thing…
This is more or less what happened to Lokies Khan, a gay man from Singapore who discusses what it’s like having a video released online that shows you having sex.
Speaking with Dear Straight People, he talks about how the situation made him feel a total lack of control.
“The main reason why [the incident] affected me so much was because this is not something I want people to see,” he says.
Sure, some of his Instagram pictures depict him in various states of undress, but those are images he chose to share with the world.
“Things that I post on Instagram are things that are within my control, are things I want people to see, [that] I’m comfortable with people to look at,” he says. “But these gifs of me on Tumblr are not within my control. I did not give consent. I did not know it was there.”
He laments the overabundance of “backstabbing,” “slandering,” “gossiping,” “shaming” and “judgement” that wafts from the gay community.
“This is an issue,” he says. “This is a problem in the community that we are facing, and people think it’s OK — it’s not. There are people out there who wouldn’t have the mental capacity to cope with this. These are things that are potentially lethal. It could destroy someone’s life.”
To other victims, Khan offers support: “You are not alone. I get what you’re feeling. There is nothing to be ashamed of.”
Watch the video — the interview — below: