Spacey Scandal: Don’t Let Him Hide Behind the Rainbow Flag

Guest Opinion by Olivia Skriloff’18

Kevin_Spacey,_May_2013

Kevin Spacey. Photo: Wikipedia.

The LGBTQ+ community is almost always happy to have another celebrity in our ranks. We are desperate for representation, because how the media portrays our community is how the general public sees us. On top of that, in the past month, a slew of sexual assault allegations have been exposing various Hollywood bigwigs as predators.

On October 29th in an interview with BuzzFeed News Anthony Rapp, known for being on the original cast of RENT and more recently on Star Trek: Discovery, Alleged that Kevin Spacey most famously known as Francis Underwood on Netflix’s hit series: House of Cards “invited Rapp over to his apartment for a party, and, at the end of the night, picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance. According to public records, Spacey was 26. Rapp was 14.” This allegation is a big deal because on top of this being sexual assault Rapp was also under age.

Kevin Spacy responded to an allegation with a tweet:

tweet

Saying that he doesn’t remember the encounter and that “if I did behave then as [Rapp] describes, then I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been extremely inappropriate drunken behavior.” Except this isn’t just inappropriate behavior; this is sexual assault and statutory rape at its best. But what is causing the most controversy is the second paragraph where spacey comes out as a gay man by saying “I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I now choose to live as a gay man.”

Coming out is a deeply personal, extremely scary, but ultimately exhilarating and freeing moment of truth for members of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s brave. By coming out, you are shouting that you exist and that you are valid even though by doing so you are placing yourself in opposition to the world and the people in it that seek to invalidate your identity. Coming out for the first time is a beautiful moment that frankly cis-het people will never understand.

It should always be a person’s choice to come out when they are ready and I respect the people who decide that it would be unsafe for them to do so because of their career or family or just because they are never ready; that’s their prerogative. What Spacey probably doesn’t understand, growing up and being an adult in a world where he chose to pass for straight, is that coming out as a response to a sexual assault of a minor charge is deeply damaging to the LGBTQ+ community. It implies that his transgression is a symptom of his gayness.

One of the most pervasive and damaging stereotypes of Gay people is that they are predators. The predator argument is what is used to institute bathroom bills. People are genuinely scared that gay men want to feel up their sons; but the fact of the matter is that it’s not true. Drunk or not, gay men and the LGBTQ+ community at large do not want to fondle your children.

By hiding behind the rainbow flag, Kevin Spacey has changed what is usually a celebration of representation within the community into an attack furthering along damaging and dangerous stereotypes that force us to go on the defensive. So no thank you Kevin Spacey, take responsibility for your actions instead of hiding behind an already victimized community that you now claim to be a part of.

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