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This LGBTQ Activist’s Speech About Surviving Abuse Will Break Your Heart

The Huffington Post
By Curtis M. Wong
April 8, 2017

Excerpt Below:

One of the first openly gay men to marry in the Bronx following the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on same-sex marriage opened up about surviving sexual abuse in a poignant speech Wednesday.

Fabio Cotza was one of several speakers at Safe Horizon’s Champion Awards in New York April 5, but his words were among the evening’s most poignant. Recalling how he was sexually abused by his landlord’s son as a child, he said, “It took me many years of therapy [and] support from loved ones to realize what had happened to me really wasn’t my fault.

If I had been able to get help as a child, I may not have suffered so much over so many years,” Cotza, who is the senior director of Safe Horizon’s Bronx Child Advocacy Center and previously shared his experiences in a 2016 Advocate essay, said in the speech, which can be viewed above. “Somewhere in this city, tonight, there is a child in a dark cave of their own. I hope it will make it out of that place.” He added, “It never gets easier, folks. But it does get better.

Safe Horizon, which is nation’s leading victim assistance organization, are particularly interested in highlighting domestic violence issues in the LGBTQ community, where it remains a somewhat taboo topic.

So often there is this misconception that abuse in a same-sex relationship is just a fight. But abuse is different than a fight,” Brian Pacheco, who is the director of public relations at Safe Horizon, told The Huffington Post in October. “Domestic violence is one person trying to exert power and control over another person, and it’s dangerous.

Read the original article here.