On Monday, New York Magazine ran an article by trans-identified journalist Gabriel Mac in which the biological female who details his experience in getting a phalloplasty procedure. After working in Haiti as a reporter following the 2010 earthquake, Mac, then living as a woman, staged her own "rape."
The New York Magazine article, titled "My Penis: a Love Story," went into vivid detail about the phalloplasty procedure, a surgery that constructs a "penis" as part of sex reassignment surgery.
The article released on Monday does not touch on an incident around a decade ago, in which Mac, then going by Mac McClelland, staged her own "rape" to "cope" with witnessing sexual violence during her time in Haiti.
Working as a Mother Jones civil rights reporter, Mac met a woman named Sybille who reportedly was raped at gunpoint and brutally mutilated by a gang of men, according to the Daily Mail.
Mac accompanied the woman to the hospital, where "the surgeon who performed reconstructive surgery on her told her she was a slut and deserved what she got," the Daily Mail reported.
Following the incident, and the victim's reported break down after seeing one of her attackers while traveling in a taxi following her surgery, Mac reportedly began displaying the classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress.
The then 31-year-old went to see a therapist in San Francisco, where Mac told a therapist that "all she wanted to do was have incredibly violent sex," wrote the Daily Mail.
The therapist suggested that it would be a good idea to explore the concept with a trusted partner.
Mac then staged her own "violent rape," which Mac said "cured" the PTSD. Mac wrote about the experience in an article for Good.
"I did not enjoy it in the way a person getting screwed normally would. But as it became clear that I could endure it, I started to take deeper breaths. And my mind stayed there, stayed present even when it became painful, even when he suddenly smothered me with a pillow, not to asphyxiate me but so that he didn't break my jaw when he drew his elbow back and slammed his fist into my face," Mac wrote at the time.
"Two, three, four times. My body felt devastated but relieved; I'd lost, but survived. After he climbed off me, he gathered me up in his arms. I broke into a thousand pieces on his chest, sobbing so hard that my ribs felt like they were coming loose," Mac continued, describing the role-played rape.
Mac was slammed for the piece, with 36 female journalists sending a letter to the editors of Jezebel.
"Her article calls much needed attention to the complexity of rape. But we believe the way she uses Haiti as a backdrop for this narrative is sensationalist and irresponsible," the letter stated.
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