The Antoine Dodson brand has shot to near global infamy, with slews of lucrative ventures, after a video on a local Alabama TV interview was released showing Dodson addressing the intruder who tried to sexually assault his sister. And now the “Hide Yo’ Wife, Hide Yo’ Kids” mastermind is opening up about his own sexual abuse by a family member and the homophobic bullying he faced as a youth.
Dodson reveals that he faced a backlash by members of his neighborhood after the video hit the Web; some of his neighbors said he doesn’t represent them. “I think it has something to do with my sexuality because I’m queer and fabulous,” he tells Jezebel.
The young man whose likeness will be the inspiration for many Halloween costumes this weekend—including his own Bed Bug Intruder costume—wants the media to know that he’s not slow or stupid. “I know the media just doing their jobs, but I am sick and tired of the media making this [into], oh, we’re so poor, we’re stupid and slow, none of us have degrees or education. No.”
Jezebel reports that Dodson was working towards an associate’s degree in management and business. Dodson says that his education comes in handy for the many offers he receives, but that his main focus is supporting survivors of sexual abuse.
The 24-year-old Chicago native responds to critics who say he’s only in it for the fame: “If I stay in the limelight, I’ll really be able to get my story out.” After the success of his wildly popular “Hide Yo’ Kids, Hide Yo’ Wife” song, and a recent performance at the “BET Hip Hop Awards,” Dodson says he’s working on a book, a dictionary of original phases, and a full album. Dodson says he makes it a point to talk up his support of sexual assault survivors during interviews. The rising star is also lending his support to a sex-offender registry phone app, which will donate 5 percent of its proceeds to the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).
He says, “We want to let people know, yes, we are survivors of sexual abuse. A lot of our fans are asking us how we deal with this. How are we just these strong people that could just sit up there and take something like this?” Dodson says, “I’m like, No, we went through a lot to get here.”
But Dodson is hoping for men to be more vocal about their experiences with sexual abuse. “I would love for men to talk about it even more. Do you know how manly that makes you look when you can sit up there, and talk about being a rape victim to other people? That would give other people the confidence to speak out.”