Over the past few days, social media has been flooded with women and men posting the hashtag “#MeToo. “ This trend was started to raise awareness for women who have been victims of sexual harassment or sexual assault. A number of men joined in to acknowledge their own abuse. As my newsfeed filled with friends who posted “#MeToo,” my heart broke. Each one of those brief posts represented countless painful experiences, some past, some current. It also led me to some personal reflection.
I was sexually harassed and bullied for many years as a child and young adult. People (boys and girls) who I thought were friends would be nice to me one day and call me a “fag” the next day. I was the butt of many jokes, mostly because of what others perceived my sexuality to be. A few guys exposed themselves to me. One tried to coerce me into stripping for him when I was about 10 years old. There were many other situations where I was belittled or somehow “used.” So yes, “Me Too.”
I also need to say, “I’m sorry.” I have participated in and even started some sexually charged conversations that I’m certain made others feel uncomfortable. Just because some find lewd humor funny doesn’t mean everyone does. I have “undressed people with my eyes” to the point that they were uncomfortable. I have viewed pornography, which perpetuates the lie that it is okay to use others (willingly or not) as sexual objects. While I’ve never assaulted anyone, I have done plenty that I wish I could take back, and I’m sorry.
A companion hashtag has been making the rounds as well. It is #IWill. The intent behind this one is for people to state what they will do to bring about change, particularly when someone is being sexually harassed or potentially assaulted. How would you complete the sentence, “I Will _____________” to make things better for those who have been or are currently victims of sexual harassment or assault?
Where Grace Abounds works with men and women who have experienced sexual abuse. We also work with those who have been the abusers (who were most likely victims at some point themselves). You can read more about these in the links below.
In the spring of 1995, the conflict Roger felt between his faith and his sexuality, as well as an addiction to pornography, led him to WGA. His personal journey has provided him unique insights into sexuality and the pain of adversity, which he shares through his testimony, facilitation of small groups, writing and public speaking.
Roger began working with WGA in October of 1996 as the Assistant office Manager. Since that time, he has worn many hats and served in several different positions, including Assistant Program Director and Operations Director. In April of 2007, Roger assumed the position of Executive Director.
Roger attended West Texas A&M University, where he studied Music Business. Much of his training has been “on the job,” where he was mentored by the ministry’s Founder, Mary Heathman, and the Program Director, Scott Kingry. He holds a BA from West Texas A&M University.
Roger, his wife Jill, and their daughter Julia and son William, attend Celebration Community Church where Jill serves as Associate Pastor.
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