My name is Thomas McCutcheon. My story starts when I was a normal teen moving into young adulthood. I was working as a full time ER Technician at my local hospital and was going to college to hopefully achieve my goals of becoming a doctor or physician’s assistant. My life at the time seemed so perfect. I was achieving great things in life, unlike any in my family had done before.
After starting college, I started experimenting being gay. I grew up being taught that homosexuality is a sin. After becoming aware that I might be a homosexual, I decided to use this newfound freedom of being away at college to explore my sexuality and started going to a gay club in the nearby city. After going a couple of times, I felt comfortable there. People were so accepting of me, making me feel like I belonged there. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that my innocence and naivety was being monitored.
On April 4th, 2009, my life changed forever. Monsters, in the form of men, had apparently monitored me over the prior weekends that I visited the bar. One in particular decided to come up and speak to me. Being the polite and kind person I was, I began to have a conversation with the man. During our conversation, he disclosed to me that he had been diagnosed with HIV and was struggling with it all. So, being the compassionate medical worker I was, and since I had some experience with this condition, I began to try to comfort him with empathy and some understanding to the best of my ability.
As our conversations continued I lost track of time and before I realized it the bar was closing. The manager of the bar was really nice to me and allowed me to hang around after closing a couple times. This night he wanted me to do a shot with him because i came across being innocent. So I went ahead and had one shot with him. Well after that shot, the manager got a phone call and stepped outside to talk. At that point the two other monstrous men that were still hanging around decided to approach where I was sitting at the bar waiting for the manager to return.
They began speaking to me, and we laughed and joked, things seemed normal to my naively blind eyes, but they changed very quickly. One of them went behind the bar and started to make all of us a shot to drink. It had never crossed my mind that someone would consider putting a date rape drug in my drink. So I went ahead and did a shot with them but had already decided that I was going to take my leave since the manager was taking so long to return.
When I stood up from my stool, I immediately recognized that something was off about the way my body felt. Then all three of them began to taunt me in different ways trying to grope me and touch other parts of my body. They tried pulling at different parts of my clothing and unzipping or unbuttoning my pants. I begged them to stop but the sexual taunts continued. At one point they pulled the back of my shirt over my head covering my face. I was terrified as this point since I knew instinctively that something bad was coming. I removed the shirt from covering my face and began hollering that I was going to puke. I warned them that they needed to leave me alone and that I had had enough.
So they all calmed down, surrounded me, and suggested that I go to the bathroom so I could throw up and maybe feel better. As I stumbled across the floor my mind was racing with thoughts of how I needed to escape and of how I could get out of there immediately. I made it to the bathroom and fell to the wall. I was losing all of my motor functions and my vision had blurred, but my mind still seemed to be able to absorb everything around me. In that moment I devised a plan that I was going throw up so maybe I could have the motor skills to get myself to my car and lock myself in and call the police. Before I could finish that thought, I looked up and I was once again surrounded by these three sexual predators. At that point it was too late to escape, and all I could do was beg for mercy and for them to stop. I received no mercy, and they didn’t stop. I was brutally gang raped.
I reported the rape to the police and gave my statement. They then sent me to the Alabama Madison County Crisis Center to have a rape kit done, and apparently I was their very first male rape victim needing a kit. I agreed to press charges against these villains. Further into the investigation, I met with a detective on the case who told me he didn’t understand how a man could be raped, much less a gay man. He also told me that almost any judge that saw this case would feel the same way he did and that it would be almost impossible to prosecute. I dropped my case that day and know that I’ll never get justice for what happened to me.
Now I had no one to help me. I was lost, devastated, and completely alone. The rape has affected every aspect of my life. I dropped out of school and lost my job at the hospital. I became suicidal and struggled just to find the will to survive. After a couple of years I found Grace in the eyes of God. He Helped me to heal the damage that had been done to me so long ago. With his help I had seemed to pull what was left of my life together. I stopped drinking and going to bars or clubs. I no longer wanted to do anything they may have been displeasing to God. By his mercy and guidance I paid off what I owed my college and I was actually able to start attending again. I completed my first semester back at college with honors. Then, as if a hammer had dropped on me, I became very ill. In my heart I knew what was going on. I knew that the torture and trauma of my gang rape those few years ago had come back to haunt me further, as if to rape me all over again.
After a few months of crying and begging for God’s mercy, I decided it was time for me to be tested for HIV. I knew I was at high risk because the leader of the group had told me he was HIV positive. I went to the local clinic and tested positive. At this point, I had to drop back out of college to start going for HIV treatment and because my mental health declined once again. It has been almost two years since my HIV diagnosis. I have struggled with physical, mental, and emotional distress.
Even now, all this time later, I still battle with the trauma of my gang rape and subsequent HIV diagnosis. I am currently applying for disability, but I have been waiting for over a year now to get even a hearing date. I’m on the verge of losing everything I own. I’m not a person that usually asks for help, but I just cannot do it alone anymore, and I know now that just about everyone needs help at some point in their life. Any money raised for me by this GoFundMe campaign would help me to pay off hospital collection and school debts and would help me to survive and keep my home until my disability hearing. Maybe even help me to get back some of my old goals for my life.
Dear friends, family and sympathizers, I really need funds from this campaign as soon as I can get them. I wish to make a fresh start on life, and with the past looming over me, I just cannot do that. Please help me to move forward and start my life again. Please help me to get all the help I need. I’m so thankful to anyone who decides to help. I hope you will be blessed to the fullest extent for your kindness and generosity.
Campaign Link: https://www.gofundme.com/kptwwryc