In his film Untold Story, Kevin J. Marshall — film-maker and sexual abuse activist speaks with men who have experienced sexual abuse.
The film provides an opportunity for the men to present their stories in their words, sharing their quiet struggles and showing how they have been able to rise above their experiences after decades of torment.
I caught up with Zeke Thomas, whose story is featured in the documentary, to hear about his experience.
How did you first connect with Kevin J Marshall on this project?
After my piece on Good Morning America, and The Cut — where I came out about my sexual assault — Kevin reached out to me via Instagram, and from there we began the conversation.
What made you feel that Kevin J Marshall was someone that you could trust with your story?
It wasn’t about trusting Kevin with my story, it was about his passion for telling the stories of black male survivors, and truly showing that this problem is global and in our community. I also served as an executive producer on the project, so being able to collaborate was great.
Why did you feel that it was important that this film was made?
It’s important because even after myself going public — as well as actors Terry Crews and Brendan Fraser — male sexual assault is often an afterthought. Sometimes you have to put a face to the problem to truly give the voiceless a voice.
How do you feel when you watch the presentation of your story alongside the stories of other survivors of abuse?
I couldn’t get through it at first. I had to stop and re-watch many times. It was a hard and difficult thing to watch.
What do you hope that this film contributes to the conversation regarding sexual abuse?
I’m not hoping for an award or worldwide release — I’m hoping that if this helps one person share their story, or brings about more awareness to this issue, then we did our job.
Does this film somehow close the chapter on your experience of abuse, or do you feel that you’ve got more work to do?
There’s so much more work to do. The film does show case a time in my life when I was still dealing with the anger and sadness. Now, being in a place of knowing, I’m okay — I’m ready for the next chapter.
Zeke Thomas will be screening Untold Story in London at Soho House, 12 June 2018