This April, DJ Zeke Thomas became a voice for 19.5 million U.S. men who're victims of contact sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.
The 29-year-old son of NBA legend Isiah Thomas candidly discussed his experiences on Good Morning America, and later created a song, called "Dealin' With It," where he sings about the struggles of being a rape survivor. Now, he's donating proceeds from the track to GLAAD and NSVRC.
"Being gay, being African American--it's definitely something I never imagined would happen to me," Thomas told GMA. "The first time that I was a victim was when I was 12 years old and then it happened again last year, last February. When it happened again, I was terrified. I really felt that my manhood had been taken from me."
First abused by basketball teammates as a pre-teen, Thomas' more recent harrowing experience involves being drugged in Chicago's boystown and raped inside his home. After grappling with the reality of what happened, Thomas remembers laying in bed for days and eventually taking mushrooms in order to feel comfortable telling people about his assault.
"Zeke is using his platform and music to powerfully shed light on an issue that too often flies under the radar," says Rich Ferraro, GLAAD's Chief Communications Officer. "By telling his story and bravely living his truth, Zeke is quickly becoming a LGBTQ voice to watch."
On "Dealin' With It," Thomas bravely reflects on the feeling of being powerless after his assault. "I'm not beggin for forgiveness," he sings on the self-produced survivor anthem. "But this time I've come undone. Let my spirit leave this palace. I can't find the strength to run."
Watch Zeke Thomas' "Dealin' With It" music video, below, and support the track, here.