pressing question

Man wonders if he’s gay because he’s never had a girlfriend after being sexually assaulted as a kid

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A man has appealed to famed UK columnist Dear Deidre with a pressing question: If he endured sexual assault as a kid, does that make him gay?

“I am a 27-year-old man and I’ve never had a girlfriend because of something that happened when I was 11,” the anonymous man writes. “My 14-year-old cousin was wrestling with me and then he took me to a quiet area. He wrestled me again but this time he pulled down my shorts and pants and sexually assaulted me.”

“I didn’t know what he was doing,” the man continues. “These things weren’t spoken about in my family. As I grew up, I got to understand what it was all about and although I was angry at first, I have wondered if it happened because I did something to provoke him. I now wonder if I’m gay.”

Related: Boxing, fame, secret abuse: Champion Christy Martin tells all

Deidre, ever the wise advisor, offers up her sound counsel.

“You may be gay but your sexuality is a completely separate issue from the fact you were abused as a child,” she observes. “You are a survivor of an assault from an older boy and you did nothing to encourage him. Please believe you are not at fault.”

“You can find support from the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (napac.org.uk) and LGBT Foundation (lgbt.foundation) which supports the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans communities,” she also offers.

Studies continuously have shown there is no link between sexual assault and sexual orientation. LGBTQ people, however, are far likely to suffer sexual assault, and far less likely to report that abuse according to the Human Rights Campaign.