Queer rights pioneer Michael Cashman was raped so often that he thought it was a norm

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Stonewall co-founder Michael Cashman candidly revealed that he was raped so regularly growing up that he thought that it was a common part of a gay life. Cashman, 69, now years removed from his past, described how, aged 12 performing in Oliver!, he was approached by a cast-member who committed an assault against him. The actor wanted to ask for help, but this case was just one of many. Assault patterned his early years. Aged eight, a young docker pinned him down and sexually assaulted Cashman. He remained silent about the incident for years because he felt he could not be loved and belong somewhere. At 14, while filming the 1965 film, I’ve Gotta Horse, an older friend of the film’s director whisked him away to a bedroom where he raped him. When he was raped by a man in the 1960s, Cashman convinced himself he provoked his rapist. Going to the authorities was no option for gay men at a time when their existence was illegal. As much as the spectre of his past has haunted him, Cashman said that writing his memoir, One of Them, gave him an opportunity to reconsider what he had gone through

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