I saw you, my lovely boyfriend. I want to say thank you because you changed my life - you may not know why, and here is why. I come from a different country, where the culture is very different. In the summer before I came to MIT, I watched the mandatory video about sexual harassment, and started becoming suspicious about what really happened to me throughout middle school. "It was probably sexual harassment," I thought to myself. Later into the semester, it wasn't until a conversation that made me realize I was in fact raped. It was my father, and I was just in 7th or 8th grade. I know in my culture, it wasn't really a rape; I also know that for a long time, I had a hard time feeling comfortable sitting in a room with the majority of the room being men/boys. I didn't know why; now I do. It all makes sense. It's very very unfortunate.
However, as you became one of my best friends, it was also around the time I realized I was raped. I trusted you, and I told you what happened. You comforted me and said I'm not dirty or inferior as I thought. You said you were impressed with how strong I was.
Now we've been dating. At first I found it difficult for myself to cuddle with you, because there was always this shadow that was at the back of my head. But you were always there for me. You are gentle. You respect my mind and my body. You have always been that nice boy who tells me "I love you." I have changed. I feel much more comfortable with physical contact with you, and I feel I'm back onto the track of being that happy self of me.
I didn't know how I would move on without too much difficulty without your support and love. As the Project dx/dt video came out, I sent a link to you, and wanted to say all of the above to you. It felt heavy, so I didn't find myself actually saying it. Now here it is.
To everybody at MIT, we are a community, and we should all support and love each other, just like in a big family. For an international student like me who came all the way half across the globe, I want to say without the support I have experienced at MIT, I couldn't have become the me I am today. For fellow survivors, I want to let you know you are not alone, and we are also more strong than people think.