#Metoogay: why gay men are particularly exposed to sexual violence

#Metoogay: why gay men are particularly exposed to sexual violence

#Metoogay: why gay men are particularly exposed to sexual violence

Investigation - Their testimonies had made the effect of a blast.Last January, more than three years after the #MeToo wave, thousands of gay men seized the hashtag #metoogay to denounce the sexual violence they have undergone.

A movement initiated by a man, Guillaume, who accused of rape the elected Parisian Maxime Cochard and his companion.“I consider that they took advantage of my youth, my naivety, because of the fact that family problems I really had a place to sleep, their responsibilities within the PCF to have sex nogranted with me, »wrote the 21 -year -old young man who died on February 9.

"It immediately rebounded on very personal and singular experiences ranging from incest to violence within the community", analyzes for the HuffPost Gabriel Girard, sociologist at Inserm and specialist in LGBT+ questions.A wave of saving testimonies, but late.How to explain that this word took so long to free itself and be heard?

Gabriel Girard remembers that "there had already been attempts to launch a #metoogay in the past, especially at the time of the Kevin Spacey affair"."But there had not been something so massive in France," he notes, judging that "the spirits were finally ready to receive this word and social networks serve as a resonance cashier".

A prevalence difficult to explain

These stories come several months after the publication, in September 2020, of an article by vice: "In search of #MeToogay".Its author, Matthieu Foucher, wrote in the preamble that "from their childhood to adulthood, gays will be strongly exposed to sexual violence".An assertion confirmed by the results of the INED survey, carried out in France by Mathieu Trachman and Tania Lejbowicz, published in November 2020.


The results of this study show in particular that gay men are almost eight times more exposed to intra -family sexual violence than heterosexual men (5.4% against 0.7%).These violence, which bring together the abuses committed by the members of the same family, but also by relatives rubbing shoulders with this circle daily, are almost all inflicted on minors.

Nicolas Martin, producer at France Culture, is one of those who testified last January of the incest that he suffered."I was 11 years old, and a child's body," he wrote on Twitter (...) It lasted six years ».

"For the past twenty years, we observe in international studies a high prevalence of intra-family sexual violence, with very variable rates, among sexual minorities, and especially in Gays men", confirms to the HuffPost Mathieu Trachman, co-author ofthe study.

Homophobic sexual violence


A phenomenon difficult to explain.First because of the lack of data on the subject, but not only.Gabriel Girard and Mathieu Trachman, however, advance several hypotheses.For the first, the expression of a "femininity" in young boys can serve as a pretext for these sexual violence.Violence often suffered from an early age, including in children who do not identify themselves as gays.

"Why are young boys dealt with‘ pushes ’at the youngest age?», He asked.“Because their classmates identify in them a gender expression which does not correspond to the expectations.One can imagine that it also happens in adults through strict homophobia, but also sexual abuses and violence.»

#MeTooGay: pourquoi les hommes gays sont particulièrement exposés aux violences sexuelles

“Sexual violence understands themselves as a way for men to make use of sexuality to remind women of gender norms, abounds Mathieu Trachman. Cela pourrait aussi valoir pour les gays».

Le co-auteur de l’étude issue de l’enquête VIRAGE évoque également une propension à “identifier et à rapporter» des violences sexuelles des hommes gays plus grande que celle des hétérosexuels, même si la “surexposition n’est pas discutable». “Les gays ont des parcours sexuels spécifiques, marqués par un plus grand nombre de partenaires, une certaine diversité sexuelle, qui peut alimenter une certaine réflexivité vis-à-vis de ces expériences sexuelles», explique-t-il.

More difficulty building your sexual identity

Violence which is not without consequence on the construction of the identity, in particular sexual, of these men. “Cela a évidemment un impact sur leur estime de soi ou leur bien-être», constate la sexologue Nadège Pierre, qui officie notamment au centre de santé sexuelle 190 à destination des hommes gays et bis. “Certains ont par exemple complètement stoppé certaines pratiques sexuelles».

"I did not have sex with penetration during the six years who followed my assault," says Kevin, a 28 -year -old young man, from Reims, and assaulted a few years ago in Paris. “J’avais associé cette pratique à la douleur et au traumatisme».

But the family is not the only place where there is a prevalence of sexual violence in gay men.Also according to the turn survey, a gay man is three times more likely to undergo sexual violence in public space during his life than a heterosexual man (11.1% against 4.1%).

On parle ici des violences sexuelles homophobes, comme les viols punitifs ou les agressions, mais aussi de violences exercées au sein même de la communauté LGBT+, parfois entre les murs d’espaces dits “safe». “Nos données ne permettent pas toujours de savoir si ces violences ont lieu entre hommes gays ou bisexuels», note toutefois Mathieu Trachman.

“Je n’avais aucune clé de compréhension de la sexualité gay»


In any case, there are many stories relating to sexual assault or rape suffered within the gay community among the testimonies of #MetOogay.This is what happened to Kevin, the 28 -year -old Rémois.

The young man had followed a boy met in a Parisian gay club one evening.The latter had led him to a building courtyard and forced to a very brutal sexual intercourse."I was lying on the ground on the ground, full of dust," recalls Kevin.I told him that I didn't like it and that I was in pain, but he didn't want to hear anything. Alors au bout d’un moment j’ai déconnecté et je l’ai laissé faire».

"When I arrived in Paris, I had no key to understanding gay sexuality," says the young man to the HuffPost.I was often told about brutal practices and I felt like it was part of the game. Que c’était le prix à payer pour faire partie de ce milieu».

Pour Gabriel Girard, cet aspect de “l’éducation» est crucial. “La découverte de la sexualité gay peut être très compliquée, encore aujourd’hui, malgré les avancées légales», estime le chercheur."We disembark and we do not know much about the codes or ways of being to others.Learning is done on the heap, often by imitation. C’est difficile d’arriver à comprendre ce qui est acceptable et ce qui ne l’est pas nécessairement, et de réussir à se fixer ses propres limites».

An opinion shared by Hugues Fischer, historic activist of Act-Up Paris.“We have much fewer standards at the start and we learn late relations.There is no gay sex education.»

Gabriel Girard croit d’ailleurs qu’on “pourrait aller plus loin dans les cours d’éducation sexuelle» et sur les questions de consentement.The Minister Delegate Élisabeth Moreno announced on Monday March 22 at the HuffPost that an audit had been diligent to identify establishments which would not exempt sex education lessons.

Une idéologie “du désir masculin irrépressible»

Dans ces abus sexuels entre hommes gays se joue aussi ce que Gabriel Girard appelle la “culture de la facilité d’accès au corps de l’autre dans la communauté gay». “Toucher quelqu’un dans un bar, un lieu de rencontres, dans un sex club sont des choses qui se font beaucoup dans l’implicite», commente-t-il.

Pour Sébastien Chauvin, “cette violence est bien sûr liée au patriarcat, à la domination sexuelle et à une certaine idéologie du désir masculin irrépressible qui doit s’assouvir».

“Cette idéologie du désir masculin irrépressible ne produit pas seulement des effets chez les violeurs, justifiant le forçage, mais elle contribue aussi à instaurer le préjugé d’un consentement sexuel par défaut en tant qu’homme, redoublé par la co-appartenance à un milieu gay», ajoute le chercheur.


Through #MeToogay, several men have told assaults experienced in dredge places.Cédric was one of them. “La liberté sexuelle dans la communauté contribue à banaliser une main aux fesses en soirée ou un doigt qui glisse dans le pantalon pour essayer de pénétrer sur une piste de danse en club», constate-t-il.

Dans ces lieux, “montrer ou toucher peuvent aussi être des moyens de proposer et non d’agresser», estime Sébastien Chauvin qui reconnaît que “certains refusent les premiers signaux de non-consentement et insistent, allant parfois jusqu’à la violence».

But "comparing without nuance these visual or tactile contacts with what women undergo in the metro is to ignore sexism as a social relationship, he abounds.By its act, the metro jugger means "dirty woman". Par contraste, dans un sauna, de possibles désagréments visuels ou tactiles en apparence analogues ne viendront signifier ni ‘sale homme’, ni même ‘sale gay’».

A generational fight?

Sébastien Chauvin also questions any generational disparities in the apprehension of consent. “Pour les nouvelles générations, la frontière entre le sexuel et le non-sexuel est peut-être davantage durcie», note le chercheur.

However, these observations do not explain the silence of the victims.Gabriel Girard thinks on this subject that there is “a tension in community and social integration among young gays who are accompanied by a certain number of codes that we tolerate (receive a hand on the buttocks, a kiss not necessarily consented, etc.) et que c’est là que toute l’ambiguïté du silence se crée».

“On ne dénonce pas ces actes car il y a une volonté de ne pas nuire à la communauté et d’y être intégré», ajoute-t-il.

What about domestic violence?

Another problem: there are no or few specific places to receive the words of these men.We count the listening line held by the SOS Homophobia association, but it is mainly targeted for listening to victims of homophobic verbal and physical assaults."There is no association fighting against sexual violence within the LGBT+community, recognizes the vice-president of the association Lucile Jomat. C’est un vrai manque».

The association militates today for the implementation of a listening line open to all people and aware of all sexual orientations and gender identities.A wish shared by the Minister Delegate Élisabeth Moreno, interviewed on this subject by the HuffPost.


“Dans le travail que nous sommes en train de faire pour rendre le 3919 plus accessible et inclusif, nous prévoyons de communiquer pour faire savoir aux personnes LGBT+ qu’elles peuvent elles aussi appeler et être accompagnées», nous expliquait-elle lundi 22 mars, jugeant que “c’est toute la société qui doit être éduquée sur les questions LGBT+».

À voir également sur Le HuffPost: Ces vidéos d’un couple gay dans son quotidien vont vous rappeler “Un gars, une fille»

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Youen Tanguy