Patrick_19Chicago author, speaker, and survivors’ advocate Patrick Dati will host a reading from his memoir I Am Me: Survivor of Child Abuse and Bullying Speaks Out on Friday, August 8, 6:30pm at The Center on Halsted (3656 North Halsted, Chicago).

In his memoir Dati, who grew up on the Northwest side of Chicago, unflinchingly recounts a traumatic sexual assault at the hands of John Wayne Gacy when he was 9 years old and the ensuing years of bullying by family members while hiding his true identity as a gay man through two failed marriages.  By sharing these details of his life and his ultimate coming out journey to find acceptance and love, Dati offers comfort to fellow victims and encourages them with the message that took him years to discover: Be who you are.

“Too often in life the person we were raised to be is not the person we are,” Dati explains. “I lived my life to please others and it doesn’t work.  I suffered so much and now I want to share my journey with others so that they too can come out of their darkness and into their light.  Just be who you are.  That’s the message!”

Kirkus Reviews has praised I Am Me calling it a “smartly written and brave tale” and “a comforting prospect for other victims.”

On Friday, August 8, Patrick Dati will share his story with members of Chicago’s Boystown community conducting a live reading from I Am Me at The Center on Halsted followed by a reception during which audience members will have an opportunity to purchase Dati’s book and interact with him one-on-one.

Since publishing I Am Me, Dati has become a national advocate and personal resource for survivors of sexual abuse and bullying as well as for closeted gay men.  In addition to regularly speaking at national forums, he is active in several local and national anti-bullying and child abuse prevention organizations.

This event is free and open to the public.  Space is limited.  To R.S.V.P. please visit:

I Am Me: Survivor of Child Abuse and Bullying Speaks Out is available to order on


To learn more about Patrick Dati, please visit