DJ Zeke, whose government name is Joshua Thomas, is using his platform as the openly gay son of a legendary NBA Hall of Famer to open up about an important issue -- rape. He says he wants gay men to stop covering up the heinous acts that happen to them, and he's setting the example. Get his story inside.
28-year-old Zeke Thomas made a major reveal today. As he stars in a PSA for sexual assault prevention, the son of NBA legend Isiah Thomas is talking about his own horrific experience that happened in his own Chicago apartment.
In addition to telling his story on "GMA" this morning, he talked to NY Mag in depth about being drugged and raped a year ago by a man he met on the dating app Grindr.
“We had chatted on Grindr, and I had invited him to come by my studio since he was a singer,” he says. “Nothing against Grindr. I’ve met great people on Grindr I’ve had sex with great people on Grindr. I can’t blame an app. But you don’t know shit about people you meet on it.” In any case, they’d not hooked up right away. “He seemed like a great guy. We hung out at the recording studio. And then a couple of days later he said, let’s go to Boys Town,” the gayborhood in Chicago, “for a drink.”
He had previously felt safe in the neighborhood, but he quickly realized something was wrong.
“All I remember is… getting in the cab. I know that I got drugged. I knew probably the moment that it happened because something didn’t taste right. But I didn’t think about it. I just didn’t think about it…” The next thing he knew it was the next morning. “It was literally like with Bill Cosby. When those women were like: I woke up and he was fixing me breakfast or whatever.” He pauses for a while, and then continues, quietly. “I woke up and he was handing me a glass of water and saying that was great let’s hang out again.”
Zeke then recalls exactly how he felt afterwards, in full detail, saying:
“My ass was destroyed. Destroyed. I’m bleeding,” Thomas recalls. “And I’m just like–terrified. I can’t move. I didn’t move from my apartment for two days. I didn’t move. I didn’t talk to anybody. I froze.” When he went to find the guy on Grindr, he either had blocked him or removed himself from the app.
He says it's not an easy thing for gay men to talk about, due to pre-conceived notions of hypersexuality:
There is an attitude among gay men, or at least about gay men and in turn then internalized by gay men that, as Thomas remembers straight friends saying, “‘Oh, you guys are always down. You’re always having sex anyway. You have Grindr; it’s so easy.’ And it’s like–really? All guys? And even guys who are promiscuous have a choice.”
He also revealed how this rape led to drug use and eventually his parents stepped in:
“I started getting into drugs and I started telling people when I was high. But they’re high too. They don’t want to talk about this shit.” Eventually, while high on mushrooms, he told his parents, who flew him back to New York (his dad is part owner and president of the WNBA New York Liberty), and got him to a doctor and into therapy.
Zeke, who also revealed he was first raped at the age of 12, went on to write a song called "Dealing With It" about his horrific experience. He’s also just become the first male ambassador for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. About honoring his family name, he says:
“You look at my dad and Magic,” Johnson, whose son EJ is also gay, “You have strong black men, whose sons are gay and are also strong black men, who are living their truth and expressing their truth,” he says. “I want every young black, brown, white gay kid to know that we’re going to breathe. We’re going to keep going. We’re going to keep marching.”
Keep speaking out!