Forgotten victims

Why do people have so much trouble believing male victims of sexual assault?

Last month, adult film performer Tegan Zayne came forward with rape allegations against fellow adult film performer, Topher DiMaggio.

Zayne shared his story on Twitter after he felt male victims of sexual assault were being excluded from the #MeToo movement:

The alleged incident took place in a hotel room the night before the guys were scheduled to shoot a scene together.

Zayne claims DiMaggio left him feeling “belittled and degraded” after coercing him into having bareback sex and ejaculating inside of him against his protests.

“I haven’t told anyone else because I’ve struggled with the idea that maybe he didn’t rape me, and maybe I did enjoy it,” Zayne wrote. “Maybe I’m wrong for pointing this out. Does it even matter? Does anyone care?”

Related: Adult star Tegan Zayne accuses co-star Topher DiMaggio of rape

It turns out, people didn’t care. At least, not as much as Zayne was hoping. He believes his claims weren’t taken as seriously because he’s a sex worker.

“I have been sitting on this, processing it, analyzing it, dissecting it,” he tells HuffPo in a candid new interview. “Men can be victims, too. Sex workers can be victims, too.”

Despite his story not getting the attention he feels it serves, Zayne says he hopes by continuing to talk about it he can “expand the views and discussion on the issue.”

“I knew I was speaking my truth, and I’ve accepted that I don’t need other people to make it their own in order for me to feel justified in my actions,” he says. “Abusive traits exist anywhere our egos allow them to.”

Related: Andrew Christian suspends model Topher DiMaggio “indefinitely” amid sex assault accusations