The current flood of people releasing statements about their sexual harassers and abusers is both a good and a bad thing: It’s horrible that any of these incidents should happen to anyone, but at least now the truth is coming to the surface and the healing can begin (and at least some of the predators can hopefully get prosecuted). Now chef and Fresh Off The Boat author Eddie Huang has posted his own essay on The Cut, called “Why I Denied My Sexual Assault for 20 Years,” relaying a church ski trip he went on when he was 14 that took a turn for the sinister.
In the hard-to-read but expertly written essay, Huang describes how he and his friend were just looking forward to hitting the slopes, mixing peach schnapps with hot chocolate, and meeting up with some girls, when one of the trip chaperones entered their hotel room and asked to take a shower. Huang writes:
I get knots in my stomach and blood rushes to my brain when I begin to write this. I think it’s anger, but I’m not sure. More than anything, I just feel powerless to the memory. Him taking his time with the shower, steaming up the room, then coming out with his dick hanging out.
The chaperone then proceeded to masturbate in front of the boys while reading the Bible out loud. Thankfully, he left after about 15 minutes, but the damage to Huang’s psyche had been done. Huang and his friend did not speak up, because:
Who was going to believe me? My friend was a troublemaker and I was his weird Chinese friend; no one was going to take our word over this chaperone’s. It would be even more humiliating for people to know what happened. I was completely and utterly paralyzed.
Even after 20 years, though, Huang was having panic attacks, and realized the more people he told his story to, the better he felt. He even called his old friend from the church trip to commiserate. Then when the allegations surfaced about Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and others, Huang felt the need to write this essay to make his story public and to tell other victims:
I’m not just a kid some pedophile read Psalms to. And if someone sexually assaulted you, it isn’t who you are either. We have a fucking choice. We can’t always control what people do to us, but we do have the power to define it. When I look back, nothing was actually taken. I was hijacked, but I fought my way back and arrived as the man I’m supposed to be.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
The Bible is kinda flames, if you read it with your goddamn pants on.