In recent years there have been numerous highly publicized revelations revealing that public figures working in various fields are in fact sexual predators who have been claiming victims for years. Less well known is the fact that many more well known personalities have revealed in memoirs or public statements that as boys they were sexually abused, or have spoken of abusive sexual liaisons in childhood.
Many of these survivors have spoken openly of how devastating the experience was, and yet many have gone on not only to live well, but also to reach the upper echelons of professions that constantly place them in the public eye. That in itself is worth remembering, especially since the vast majority started out in life in indigent or modest circumstances. We often don’t know to what extent abuse issues still affect these men in adulthood, but the point remains – sexual abuse does not mean your life is over or that it is futile to hope and dream.
This list can also serve as a shame-buster. The guys in this list are all men who have excelled in their chosen fields. Do you see anything shameful about them? Probably not. That applies not only to these celebrities, but to survivors in general, including you! This is something worth bearing in mind and pointing out to others unfamiliar with the issues of childhood sexual abuse.
The length and breadth of the following list of public figures also vividly highlights (not that any proof is needed) how widespread childhood sexual abuse is, and that its impact is not necessarily evident in one’s public demeanor. That is, no matter what your station in life is, there you will find other male survivors. You are not alone.
Check out this list, and the next time someone tells you they don’t know any male survivors or even know about any male survivors, or suggests that the sexual abuse of males is a very limited problem, you can set them straight. We’re guessing that before you get halfway down the list you will already find ten (overall there more than 100) whose names and careers you know very well.
Ailey, Alvin (1931-89) – American choreographer, activist.
Alarcón, Francisco X (1954-2016) – American poet, educator.
Almodóvar, Pedro (b. 1949) – Spanish film director.
Arnold, Tom (b. 1959) – American actor.
Bennington, Chester (1976-2017) – American singer, musician (Linkin Park).
Blake, Robert (b. 1933) – American actor.
Blow, Charles M. (b. 1970) – American journalist, commentator.
Bowie, David (1947-2016) – English singer, songwriter.
Boy George (George O’Dowd, b. 1961) – English singer, songwriter.
Brand, Russell (b. 1975) – English comedian, actor, writer.
Bridges, Todd (b. 1965) – American actor.
Britten, Benjamin (1913-76) – English composer, conductor.
Brolin, Josh (b. 1968) – American actor.
Brown, Chris (b. 1989) – American singer, actor, songwriter.
Brown, Robert James “Bob” (b. 1944) – Australian politician.
Brown, Scott (b. 1959) – American politician (U.S. Senate).
Buckwald, Art (1925-2007) – American satirist, syndicated columnist, author.
Burroughs, Augusten (b. 1965) – American writer.
Burroughs, William S. (1914-97) – American writer, artist.
Burton, Peter (1945-2011) – English journalist, publisher, editor, author.
Byrne, Gabriel (b. 1950) – Irish actor, director, writer.
Cannon, Nick (b. 1980) – American actor, rap artist, producer.
Carcaterra, Lorenzo (b. 1954) – American writer.
Carey, Drew (b. 1958) – American actor, comedian.
Carroll, Jim (1951-2009) – American poet, writer, musician (Jim Carroll Band).
Carroll, Lewis (C.L. Dodgson, 1832-98) – English writer and poet.
Cassady, Neal (1926-68) - American Beat writer.
Charlamagne Tha God (Lenard Larry McKelvey, b. 1980) – American radio presenter.
Chesley, Al (b. 1957) – American professional athlete (football).
Commings, Jeff (b. 1974) – American professional athlete (swimming).
Connery, Sean (b. 1930) – Scottish actor.
Connolly, Billy (b. 1942) – Scottish comedian, actor.
Cotton, Joseph (1905-94) – American actor.
Crowley, Mart (b. 1935) – American playwright.
Curtis, Tony (1925-2010) – American actor, activist.
Davis, Jonathan (b. 1971) – American singer, musician (Korn).
Davies, Dave (. 1947) – English singer, musician (The Kinks).
Dazai, Osamu (1909-48) – Japanese writer.
Depardieu, Gérard (b. 1948) – French actor.
Dickens, Charles (1812-70) – English novelist.
Dickey, R.A. (b. 1974) – American professional athlete (baseball).
DMX (Earl Simmons, b. 1970) – American hip hop recording artist, actor.
Dooling, Keyon (b. 1980- ) – American professional athlete (basketball).
Edwards, Anthony (b. 1962) – American actor.
Ehrmann, Joe (b. 1949) – American professional athlete (football).
Feldman, Corey (b. 1971) – American actor, singer.
Fisher, Antwone (b. 1959) – American director, screenwriter, producer, author.
Forster, E.M (1879-1970) - English novelist, essayist.
Fraser, John (b. 1931) – Scottish actor, writer.
Freud, Sigmund (1856-1939) – Austrian, neurologist, founder of psychoanalysis.
Gardner, Chris (b. 1954) – American entrepreneur, philanthropist.
Ginsberg, Allen (1926-97) – American poet, political activist.
Haim, Corey (1971-2010) – Canadian actor.
Hamilton, George (b. 1939) – American actor.
Hammett, Kirk (b. 1962) – American musician, songwriter (Metallica).
Henderson, Thomas “Hollywood” (b. 1953) – American professional athlete (football).
Johnson, Don (1949- ) – American actor.
Jones, Steve (b. 1955) – English musician, songwriter (Sex Pistols).
Jung, Carl (1875-1961) – Swiss psychiatrist, founder of analytical psychology.
Kashyap, Anurag (b. 1972) – Indian film director.
Keenan, Maynard James (b. 1964) – American musician, singer (Tool).
Kelly, R. (b. 1967) – American singer, songwriter.
Kennedy, Sheldon (b. 1969) – Canadian professional athlete (ice hockey).
Kiedis, Anthony (b. 1962) – American singer, songwriter (Red Hot Chili Peppers).
Krapf, Norbert (b. 1943) – American poet, writer.
Lawrence, D.H. (1885-1930) – English novelist, poet, and playwright.
Lemon, Don (b. 1966) – American television journalist.
LeMond, Greg (b. 1961) – American professional athlete (cycling).
Lennon, John (1940-80) – English musician, singer, songwriter, and political activist.
Leonard, Sugar Ray (b. 1956) – American professional athlete (boxing).
Liberace, Wladziu Valentino (1919-87) – American pianist, singer, and actor.
Lopez, Mario (b. 1973) – American actor, television host.
Luganis, Greg (b. 1960) – American Olympic athlete (swimming).
Luke, Derek (b. 1974) – American actor.
MacLeod, Doug (b. 1946) – American musician, singer, songwriter.
Manson, Marilyn (Brian Warner, b. 1969) – American singer, songwriter.
Mantle, Mickey (1931-95) – American professional athlete (baseball).
Martin, Ricky (b. 1971), Puerto Rican singer, actor, author.
Maugham, W. Somerset (1874-1965) – English playwright, writer.
McClurkin, Donnie (b. 1959) – American gospel singer.
McQueen, Steve (1930-80) – American actor.
Michael, George (1963-2016) – English singer, songwriter.
Mitcham, Matthew (b. 1988) – Australian Olympic athlete (diving).
Moby (Richard Melville Hall, b. 1965) – American singer, songwriter, musician, DJ.
Moore, Roger (1927-2017) – English actor.
Murphey, Cecil (b. 1933) – American writer.
Niven, David (1910-83) – English actor.
Olivier, Laurence (1907-89) – English actor, director.
Ozzy Osbourne (b. 1948) – English singer, songwriter (Black Sabbath).
P. Diddy (Sean John Combs, “Puff Daddy,” b. 1969) – American rap artist, singer, actor.
Parks, Gordon (1912-2006) – American photojournalist, musician, director, writer.
Patterson, Rahsaan (b. 1974) – American singer, actor.
Patton, Mike (b. 1968) – American musician, singer, songwriter (Faith No More).
Paulsen, Gary (b. 1939) – American novelist, writer.
Peel, John (1939-2004) – English DJ, producer, journalist.
Perry, Tyler (b. 1969) – American actor, playwright, songwriter.
Poitier, Sydney (b. 1927) – Bahaman American actor, author, director, diplomat.
Radcliffe, Daniel (b. 1989) – English actor.
Rawls, Lou (1933-2006) – American singer, songwriter, and actor.
Reagan, Michael (b. 1945) – American commentator, author.
Reid, Forrest (1875-1947) – Irish novelist and critic.
Rivers, Victor (b. 1955) – Cuban American actor, activist.
Robertson, Jep (b. 1978) – American reality TV star.
Rollins, Henry (b. 1961) – American musician, actor, writer.
Rose, Axl (b. 1962) – American singer, songwriter, musician (Guns N’ Roses).
Roth, Tim (b. 1961) – English actor, director.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques (1712-78) – Genevan philosopher.
Russell, Bertrand (1872-1970) – English philosopher, activist, Nobel laureate.
Ryan, Michael (b. 1946) – American poet.
Safran, Joshua (b. 1975) – American producer, activist, writer.
Santana, Carlos (b. 1947) – Mexican-American musician, songwriter (Santana).
Sewell, Brian (1931-2015) – English art critic, TV personality.
Shamrock, Frank (b. 1972) – American professional athlete (mixed martial arts).
Simmons, Roy (1956-2014) – American professional athlete (football).
Spock, Benjamin (1903-98) – American pediatrician, university professor, activist.
Townshend, Pete (b. 1945) – English musician, singer, songwriter (The Who).
Tuaolo, Esera (b. 1968) – American professional athlete (football).
Tyler, Steven (b. 1948) – American singer, songwriter (Aerosmith).
Tyson, Mike (b. 1966) – American professional athlete (boxing).
Vargas Llosa, Mario (b. 1936) – Peruvian writer, activist, politician, Nobel laureate.
Vidal, Gore (1925-2012) – American novelist and essayist.
Wainwright, Rufus (b. 1973) – American Canadian singer, songwriter.
Weaver, Shane (b. 1953) – Australian professional athlete (boxing).
Weiland, Scott (1967-2015) – American musician, singer, songwriter (Stone Temple Pilots).
Weir, Johnny (b. 1984) – American Olympic athlete (figure skating).
Welles, Orson (1915-85) - American actor, writer, director, producer. White, David (b. 1967) – English professional athlete (soccer).
White, Edmund (b. 1940) – American writer.
Wojnarowicz, David (1954-92) – American artist, photographer, writer, filmmaker.
Woodward, Andy (b. 1973) – English professional athlete (soccer).