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 2017-06-21
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Patrick Dati: Gacy survivor shares his story
by David-Elijah Nahmod
by David-Elijah Nahmod
2011-12-28

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us 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 www.youandmecanstopbullies.com .


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us 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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Dykes on Bikes support Asian-American group in trademark effort 2017-06-21
Pulse shootings remembered at Pride 2017-06-21
GUEST COLUMN From the Inside Out 2017-06-21
Local attorneys make LGBT Bar's list 2017-06-21
Commerce Department Removes LGBTQ Employees From EEO Statement 2017-06-16
Kitowit and advocates discuss hate crimes legislation 2017-06-15
Transgender woman of color killed in Ithaca 2017-06-15
Lesbian cop helps subdue Va. shooter 2017-06-15
Shooting at Congressional baseball practice in Virginia, groups respond 2017-06-14
Foss-Eggemann named to Human Rights Commission 2017-06-14
Lambda attorney Christopher Clark talks legal landscape 2017-06-14
Chicagoans remember the Pulse tragedy 2017-06-12
Youth resident of Chicago House stabbed to death 2017-06-12
NCAVP hate violence report: 2016 deadliest on record for LGBTQ, HIV communities 2017-06-12
Judge condemns Lively's work to render very existence of Ugandan LGBTIs illegal 2017-06-08
Coalition urges police contract reforms after mayor proposes independent monitor 2017-06-08
PULSE: One Year Later, Center on Halsted to host LGBTQ Community Vigil Service 2017-06-07
ACLU, police reform advocates reject half measures in fixing Chicago police 2017-06-07
ORLANDO SPECIAL Remembering the Pulse tragedy one year later 2017-06-07
Lambda Legal to Texas Legislature: Don't Tempt us to Sue You 2017-06-06
Lambda Legal appeals in Mississippi High Court for non-biological lesbian mother 2017-06-01
Attorney General Madigan issues "Know Your Rights" materials 2017-06-01
Aldermen urge action regarding hate-crime increase 2017-05-31
Johnston appointed to Berwyn Township Trustees 2017-05-28
Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton speaks about her daughter, Wear Orange Day 2017-05-28
HRW issues report on Chechen anti-gay abuses 2017-05-26
Ald. Dowell, Chairman City Council Committee on Human Relations, addresses hate crime 2017-05-24
141 Men Arrested in Gay Sauna in Indonesia 2017-05-22
Homicide of Imer Alvarado, in Fresno, California possible hate violence 2017-05-22
Sherrell Faulkner, Black transgender woman, killed in Charlotte, North Carolina 2017-05-22
Family-law firm forges new LGBT partnership 2017-05-21
Madigan among 20 attorneys general calling for special council in Russian interference 2017-05-11
Texas House Passes Damaging Child Welfare Bill 2017-05-11
Reproductive rights measure heads to Rauner's desk 2017-05-10
Discrimination in Texas: House Passes Anti-LGBTQ Bill HB 3859 2017-05-10
Darwin receives LAGBAC award 2017-05-10
VIEWPOINT LGBT hater Mark Green: A blessing in disguise 2017-05-10
National roundup: Funeral-home suit, Stephen Colbert, another trans killing 2017-05-09
Reports: Ald. Lopez under guard after gang threats 2017-05-09
Brenda Bostick, a Black transgender woman, killed in New York City 2017-05-08
 



Copyright © 2017 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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

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.