After seeing countless stories of sexual harassment and assault in the news, Fresh Off The Boat chef/actor Eddie Huang penned a gut-wrenching account of his own scarring encounter for The Cut, detailing how a chaperone on a church skiing trip left him feeling "humiliated" and "completely paralyzed."
Huang, who wrote that he was 14 at the time of the assault, recalled feeling excited to be out with his friends for a weekend of snow, girls, and sneaking out to smoke joints. One night, he and his friend decided to watch a little basketball in their room, counting down the hours until they could sneak out, when a chaperone came to their door and asked to shower. Not thinking anything of it, they let him in and kept their eyes on the game.
According to Huang, the chaperone took "his time in the shower, steaming up the room," and then walked out "with his dick hanging out." He and his friend were confused, scared, and later outraged.
"You're never ready for it and you never think it would happen to you, but it was happening and it kept going," he wrote. "He took out a Bible and started to read scripture with his dick hard. My chest started to tighten and I couldn't breathe, fearful for what would happen next. The panic turned to outrage and ultimately humiliation."
Huang wrote that he sat there, "completely paralyzed," wondering what he should do. He thought about calling the police, but didn't think anyone would believe him for a second. When the man finally left, 14-year-old Huang knew he'd never be the same.
The entire essay is worth reading, as it puts into words just how hard grappling with the truth — first on a personal level and then with the ones you love — really is. Like many who have come forward, Huang was able to keep his experience mostly buried, telling only a handful of trusted confidants; but once the news about Weinstein broke, he knew he couldn't keep it a secret any longer.
In the months since the allegations against the Hollywood producer were first published in The New York Times, hundreds of people have accused men like Kevin Spacey and James Toback of sexual misconduct. Thousands of other, non-famous folks have also shared their experiences online. After years of holding back, people are finally finding some comfort, support, and relief.
Some are calling it this "Weinstein effect." I'm calling it about damn time.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).