When New York Times columnist Charles Blow was 7 years old, he was sexually abused by his cousin. The traumatic experience sent him on a path of self-questioning in hopes of understanding how it happened, why it happened, and what it meant. His new memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, is a unwavering account of his abuse and how he healed.
In the interview Blow discusses the correlation between victims of child sexual abuse and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identity:
"What the data shows us indisputably is that people who will later identify as LGBT have disproportionate rates of having been victims of child sexual abuse. So there are two ways to think of that — one of which I completely disagree with and one I agree more with.
On the one end, the abuse is making these young people LGBT. The science for that is completely flimsy. I completely disagree with that idea. On the other side … children who will eventually identify as LGBT are more likely to be targets of sexual predators. If you think of it that way, it changes our concept of how we need to nurture and care for children who are different. …
If you look at it that way you realize that in some cases, not all of course, in some cases the predator is targeting children who they already see as kind of having some kind of characteristics that will later be different. And that difference means they’re isolated. That difference means that they are already outside of the social mores, that the predator behavior is now somehow justified because this person is already outside the norm.”
Photo: By Chad Batka, NYT