If you’ve been following along on activist twitter lately, you’ve probably seen postings about somebody fraudulently claiming to have survived a 2012 school shooting. Several community members are sharing their thoughts on using social justice for clout and attention, not even vaguely:
However, the somebody in question took it a step further by not only interfering with the reliability of the gun violence survivors community, but falsely claiming to have experienced sexual assault, creating their own #WhyIDidntReport tweet.
And that is why I say screw using pseudonyms and protecting this fraud’s identity.
As an assault survivor, I am sickened. I am lying in bed, shaking and disoriented and confused and frustrated and I don’t know how to not be totally, completely, utterly disturbed to my core that someone I had befriended not only was a liar from the start, but compounded his guilt by feeding on the attention of traumatized assault victims to grow his following. I can only hope that no one in said following is still unknowing of his behaviors.
Why would you want to have this trauma? Why would anyone want to never be able to casually watch TV anymore, due to the glaring predatory behaviors exhibited in many male leads? Why would anyone sit down on social media and decide that experiencing a horrific, dehumanizing, scarring event is something they want to be part of their story?
For many assault survivors, talking isn’t an option. For even more, they may never have closure on their experience. I will never have closure.
Bryan, may you never have the respect of an activist again.
You will not redeem yourself with retweets giving your outpouring of support to the leaders of these movements. You will not be forgiven by the community you have appropriated and degraded. Now is the time for some serious reconsideration of your life and what you’re doing with it. Is this what you want to be your legacy?
And the parallel that can be drawn from this instance to the reports that another activist did in fact sexually harass close friends of mine puts an unease in me that I don’t know how to handle. Hopefully, the coming days and weeks will see more people speaking out as we clean up this community and protect our forward momentum from those who wish to abuse the power and popularity that comes with the right retweets.