Gang Realities: Part Three **Trigger Warning**

I didn’t Join a Gang…I went For A Beer

“They’re waiting for you…” The first three words I heard the moment I walked into the Flamingo Hotel’s strip club. I wasn’t really looking for anything, I’d had a bad day at work and I had decided that as an adult I was going to go next door and have a few drinks.

Do you know that scene in Percy Jackson where they get stuck in the casino? It was like that. One day I was going for a drink, and the next day I was being raped by men I knew, who had been forced into my bed when we were children.

It started when I was fifteen, I met a guy, and that guy turned out to be evil on every level. He spent twenty years in prison since then, so I didn’t have a name or a frame of reference to identify him, but when it was announced he was getting out of prison, with a full-page newsprint image of his face, I knew exactly who he was. His last name is Giles, and the crimes he’s accused of are identical to what was done to me.

Torture, rape, breaking in through balcony doors, all of it matched what was done to me at fifteen, but most of his other victims were older than I was. I was his youngest as far as I could tell. He wasn’t the only one. There were others, some who have been imprisoned since none who have been attached to crimes committed against me.

So years went by when I tried to forget, tried to let it go, but then it happened again.

So I reported him, and I kept reporting, but no one listened. No one cared, they sent me into a mental hospital repeatedly, they lied and said I was psychotic, they medicated me, and they did everything they could to discredit me, and yet four years later I am still telling the same story.

To be clear I knew it was going to happen when I saw the other him, we’ll call him Douchebag.

Douchebag had been selling dope on a street corner for as long as I’d known he existed, but suddenly he was there, in my club, hanging with my friends, with a dope eyed look on his face that told me he not only didn’t belong there but that something very bad was going to happen…but like all girls surrounded by gang guys, I thought I was safe. I thought I was protected.

I was completely wrong.

The thing is that when you’re in a gang no one is ever fully protected. Your friends become enemies real quick, and your enemies depend on lies, deception, and utter bullshit, to separate you in order to achieve the level of power they often think they deserve but rarely do.

I was screwed that night.

Here’s where it gets really bad. I had realized when I saw the douchebag that it was time to go. I knew as soon as I saw him that I was going to be the first person he came after because he hated me more than anything. Largely because I was hanging with people he wanted to hang with, and it was effortless for me. Take me out, get to the person he thought was in charge.

So I started hanging out with normal friends, friends with kids, wives, husbands, backyard bbq’s and fires became my thing, instead of strippers and piles of drugs that I didn’t want to do.

Problem is that in Surrey BC, everyone is connected. The guy I started sleeping with turned out to be a jerk. It was at his house that I walked in expecting to go to a nice normal party and found myself being hit in the back of the head, before I was dragged down the hall, drugged, stripped down, and raped for hours.

One man tried to kill me — the son of a friend of mine actually — he was rather excited about the prospect of murdering me while he raped me, so much so that I started screaming for help. Two men came and pulled him off of me, but then they let me get raped for several more hours, so heroes? I think not.

Douchebag set the whole thing up, he’d been stalking and following me for a while, and many of the men who raped me were there when I was being raped as a child, many of them had been raped themselves. Many of the men who’d raped me that night, had raped me before. It was the literal identical cycle I’d grown up with, that I had spent more than twenty years keeping a secret, but that night I was done.

Escaping wasn’t easy, I lied about a bunch of stuff. Told them I belonged to a Hell’s Angel and even had a tattoo on my left ankle to prove it. I’d gotten the dragon years ago because I was in the mood for a tattoo — never ever thinking that it would save my life.

Turns out there really was a Hell’s Angel named Dragon, I’d met him when I was fourteen at a pool hall, a very nice man, with green eyes and a bald head, who by the time he’d heard who I was, demanded that I be set free.

It didn’t change what was done to me, but it solidified the idea that I was both loyal and untouchable, but what does it take to get there? To get my freedom? A hundred lies, every ounce of self-respect and dignity, and the refusal to say anything about the douchbag who set it all up.

I promised I’d blame the Bacon brothers — a group of men I’d never met, who had never met me. I promised to blame anyone and everyone who wasn’t involved, I did what I had to do to survive, and then I put it away and pretended it didn’t happen.

For a whole fucking year.

It was a trip to Winnipeg, that made me realize I missed my old friends, I missed the strip club that had since closed down, I missed the parties, I even missed the annoying little ones who were constantly screaming at everything that was even remotely exciting, and no I don’t mean children.

I mean short, loud girls, who were beautiful, kind, and filled with life, who slowly disappeared when they heard what had happened to me. Largely because they didn’t want to be next.

I went back one time to tell my old friends that I’d reported douchebag for gang rape, but they wouldn’t look at me, I was a rat. I’d gone to the police, and I’d admitted it without shame, they had nothing to say to me. And so I left.

I promised not to go back to that club, or the new one everyone was hanging out in, and I started Loud Mouth Brown Girl dot com. I spent my time writing and finding myself again, but the realities of that night were only beginning to unfold.

In Part Four I’ll discuss what happens after you rat out everyone you claim to love, in an effort to save yourself, and to protect the innocent ones who were blamed for heinous crimes, but until then let me just say this:

If you think girls in gangs want to be in gangs, then you aren’t paying the fuck attention. No girl joins a gang because she knows what they are getting into, we aren’t given choices, we aren’t asked “do you wanna rush this gang?” we’re just claimed. And that’s how it starts.

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I want Brown girls around the world to know that their voice matters. I want them to know that they can effect change, that they can build communities, and soar to hieghts they never imgined with the power of their own voice. I want them to stand up and be LOUD, unapolegetically.

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Devon J Hall

Devon J Hall

I Am The Loud Mouth Brown Girl, from Surrey BC. Author, Author & Artist, Dancer, Singer, Cannabis Educator, and Advocate. I am All this and more.

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