Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-03-21
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Patrick Dati: Gacy survivor shares his story
by David-Elijah Nahmod
by David-Elijah Nahmod

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Chicago resident Patrick Dati has been to hell and back. He nearly committed suicide twice. However, he lived to share his story, and now he's helping others heal from the pain of bullying and sexual abuse.

Dati told Windy City Times that he came from a strict, conservative Italian family. He said the family is extremely racist and homophobic: "It always confused and hurt me that they were like this."

"I was bullied by my brother" he added. "It began when I had bronchitis at 2. I was taken to the hospital, and I needed to get shots every week. My brother resented the attention I got and began to beat me daily."

"If Jeff's a faggot, then you must be too," Dati was told by his brother, in reference to a close childhood friend. "If Mike teases you, you kick his ass or I'll kick your ass."

However, the worst was yet to come. One day, while still a child, Dati found himself trapped in a locked public restroom with a man who put a knife to his throat and raped him. He was warned that if he ever spoke of the assault, he would be killed.

Later that day, his brother found him at home, hiding in the closet, crying. Young Dati endured yet another beating.

Years later, while watching news reports, he realized that his restroom attacker was the notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

"I nearly committed suicide over the guilt I felt about my silence, since he had killed 33 others," Dati now says. "I thought maybe I could have saved them if I had spoken up."

Dati expressed his disgust with the book about Gacy, Defending a Monster, which is now being optioned for a film: "It's awful. The book was written by Gacy's attorney. He's trying to benefit from defending a criminal who raped and killed. All he cares about is money."

Following his childhood, Dati had two failed marriages, one of which produced a daughter, now 15 years old. "She's the love of my life," he proclaims. When he finally came out as a gay man at age 41, his brother threatened to kill him, and he finally ended the relationships with his siblings. Of his marriages, he says. "I did what I thought I needed to do to be normal, to please my family. But I felt phony, depressed."

It was a long, hard road towards recovery. He's undergone years of therapy, which continues today. He's very close to his daughter, who has a friendly relationship with his siblings, which he accepts. He and his daughter do not speak of his past. His siblings consider him an embarrassment to the family.

Dati, now 48 years old, is happy at last. He lives as an out, proud gay man, and works diligently towards educating people about abuse and sexual violence. He's become an in-demand public speaker on these topics, and has appeared on network news shows to share his story and speak out against bullying. He holds down a full-time job in the marketing industry, where he's respected. "They've seen my television interviews, and they support me," he said of his employers and co-workers. "My life is incredible now. People write to me. I was able to help a woman who contacted me get help."

One of his proudest achievements is to have been chosen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a spokesperson for its 2012 National Trauma Campaign. He's also associated with the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse and Rainn—The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. He also said that a book is forthcoming, though the exact title of it has not yet been chosen.

"I'm doing exactly what I've dreamed of my whole life," Dati said. "I'm grateful to be helping other people."

For more information, visit .

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Kenya Court Finds Forced Anal Exams Unconstitutional 2018-03-22
City, ACLU, groups enter agreement on police oversight 2018-03-22
National LGBTQ Task Force calls for reevaluation the role of guns in America 2018-03-21
Title VII, Where and why "sex" matters to LGBT employees 2018-03-21
Millennium Park's security plan unveiled 2018-03-19
Ahead of Supreme case, leaders, advocates unite to affirm businesses should be open to all 2018-03-16
GLAD, NCLR urge 8th Circuit to find Title VII prohibits sexual orientation discrimination 2018-03-15
Businesses, attorneys general, rights groups tell court discrimination is bad for business 2018-03-14
Attorney General Lisa Madigan defends constitutionality of anti-discrimination law 2018-03-14
Pride Fund to End Gun Violence responds to White House gun reform package 2018-03-12
Emails prove DOJ halted LGBTQ inclusion in census, Task Force responds 2018-03-08
Emma Gonzalez at Equality Florida Gala Saturday March 10 2018-03-08
New Stop & Frisk Report Released for the City of Chicago 2018-03-07
HRC Responds to HUD Secretary's Move to Erase Non-Discrimination from Mission Statement 2018-03-07
Lambda Legal Pressesfor Federal LGBT Employment Protection in New Appeals Court Case 2018-03-07
NATIONAL Grindr case, Adam Rippon, gay-bar owner dies 2018-03-07
WORLD New museum, EU condemns gay 'cure,' trans lawmaker 2018-03-07
200+ candidates, lawmakers refusing funding, support from NRA 2018-03-06
Benchmark Judicial Voting Guide for March 2018 Cook County Primaries 2018-03-05
HRC Opposes Trump-Pence Judicial Nominee Thomas Farr 2018-03-05
Lawsuit alleges Dart detains people unlawfully 2018-03-02
Judge refuses bail reduction to man accused of Boystown threats 2018-03-01
The NRA Doesn't Care About Jack PSA launched by Pride Fund to End Gun Violence 2018-03-01
LGBTQ working people lose if Supreme Court guts unions in Janus v. AFSCME 2018-03-01
Texas man gets ten years prison for hate crime based on sexual orientation 2018-03-01
American Bar Association Resolution prohibits discrimination against jurors 2018-02-28
2nd Federal Appeals Court Rules LGBT Workers Protected Against Employment Discrimination 2018-02-26
Lambda Legal Announces 2018 National Liberty Awards Honoree Evan Wolfson 2018-02-25
ELECTIONS 25th Dist. State Rep. candidate Adrienne Irmer on guns, LGBTQ employment 2018-02-25
Fund site launched to help Amy Armstrong after robbery in Mexico 2018-02-25
Leaders note Trump District Court nominee's anti-LGBT slant 2018-02-21
CBA to honor Lori Lightfoot Feb. 28 2018-02-21
State 'License to Discriminate' Bills Threaten LGBT Access to Services 2018-02-18
Chicagoans Unite to Rally and March for Gun Reform 2018-02-17
Lawyers group responds to reports of Fla. shooter's white nationalist ties 2018-02-15
Lambda files suit in union case 2018-02-14
Trans women sue Illinois Department of Corrections 2018-02-14
Civil and Human Rights coalition condemns committee approval of Nielson 2018-02-09
Reports say Robber met victims through Grindr 2018-02-07
NATIONAL Log Cabin Republicans, DNC official leaves, Grindr case 2018-02-06

Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.