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Asexual trans man details ex-partner’s horrific emotional and sexual abuse

Asexual trans man details ex-partner’s horrific emotional and sexual abuse

Man standing by railing

James Smith (not his real name) came out as transgender in 2011, at the age of 19.

The Scottish man from Glasgow started hormones two years later and then came out as asexual one year after that.

Smith told Gay Star News: ‘That’s when I found out there was a name for what I was. Before that, I just thought I was weird.’

Now 26, Smith says his life is better than it was, but this wasn’t always the case.

A few years ago, he started a relationship with another trans man.

They moved in together after a month of dating. This was because Smith went to Africa for a volunteer program for a month, but when he came back, his landlord had given his room to someone else.

Everything was going fine for about a month, but then it started to take a turn for the worse.

Sad man covering his face
Photo: Pixabay

Smith said: ‘He started getting upset if I did something without him or if I spoke to my friends.’

Things escalated when he started telling Smith he couldn’t hang out with his own friends.

‘He would phone up to 16 times in an hour to get me to come home,’ Smith said. ‘Or he would tell me not to go to work and I had to phone in sick.

I wasn’t allowed to leave his side and if I did, he would cry and threaten to hurt himself. If that didn’t work, he would break my stuff – like punch my TV or throw things at me,’ he said.

Things got so bad that Smith would sometimes have to hide and lock himself in his car.

Pattern of sexual abuse

James Smith was completely open to his boyfriend about his asexuality and his lack of desire for a sexual relationship.

His boyfriend said that he wanted to be sexual with Smith, but it wasn’t something Smith was comfortable with.

So to compromise, Smith bought his boyfriend some sex toys for his birthday.

‘However, after his birthday, he would use them when I was trying to sleep,’ Smith said. ‘Then he would try to grab me.

‘He kept trying to touch me in ways I didn’t want before,’ Smith said.

Smith jumped out of bed and slept on the couch, but his boyfriend started crying and said he didn’t mean it.

But the grabbing happened ‘several times’ so Smith didn’t want any more to do with it.

Smith told his friends about the numerous incidents of sexual and emotional abuse. They had coincidentally been on a course with LGBT Youth Scotland on the signs of abuse.

His friends decided to take him to a therapist, who then recommended he go to the Hamish Allan Centre – a homeless shelter in Glasgow.

‘They were all great there,’ Smith said. ‘I just wanted [to get] out of that situation and to focus on myself getting better.’

‘Without my therapist, I wouldn’t have been able to get out of the abuse because I was so scared,’ he said.

The lasting damage of emotional abuse

It’s taken James Smith years to get over the emotional and sexual abuse he experienced.

‘The aftermath was larger than I had thought,’ he said. ‘Once things had settled down, I then had time to think and that’s when a whole new set of problems arose.’

During the relationship, doctors diagnosed Smith with diabetes. But due to the complications of his relationship, he pushed it out of his mind.

Photo: Pixabay

‘I lost control of my diabetes,’ Smith said. ‘I was forgetting to eat or to take my insulin.

‘Then one night, it got bad enough for me to take too much insulin. Luckily enough, I forgot what I was doing so ate a cupcake that apparently saved my life,’ he said.

The toll on his physical health wasn’t the only thing getting Smith down after the end of his abusive relationship.

He said: ‘I also had this sudden feeling of complete loneliness and my mood just seemed to plummet, as I finally realized what had been done to me. It’s like I didn’t see any of it before.

‘This then caused me to have some very intrusive thoughts. It was similar to what had been said to me in the relationship,’ he said.

Smith advice to people going through the same thing?

‘Trust your friends and family,’ he said. ‘Because they can see it from the outside and can see clearly what is going on.’

He added: ‘Never hide what someone is doing and never make up excuses.’

See also:

Gay Syrian recounts two-year long sexual abuse ordeal when he was 13

My boyfriend hit me, so why do I have a problem calling it domestic abuse?

‘My sister outed me as gay to my homophobic dad’

Need help?

If you are experiencing any signs of domestic abuse, remember – you’re not alone.

Are you in the US? Contact The Anti-Violence Project hotline: 1-212-714-1141.

Are you in the UK? Contact Galop, who run the National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428

Or see our list of global support services for LGBTI people, in alphabetical order.

If you want to share your story of domestic abuse, please contact James Besanvalle or Joe Morgan.