How dare you Kevin Spacey? 

After Anthony Rapp, an actor on Star Trek:  Discovery, accused Kevin Spacey of making a sexual advance towards him in 1986 when Mr. Rapp was a 14 year-old child actor, Mr. Spacey issued an apology, then confirmed what many in the Hollywood industry had expected for years — that he is gay.

Kevin Spacey

Normally, when someone of Kevin Spacey’s stature ventures out of the closet, the gay community rallies around him because it is something every queer has had to come to terms with in their own life.  When to tell, who to tell, how much to tell — the psychology of the closet is extremely complex, and coming out takes many, often competing, motivations into consideration:  things like family background, where one is located (geography relative to laws and prevailing civic attitudes), status (relationship and professional) which could change dramatically based on others “knowing,” and even future goals (perhaps one seeks to advance in a homophobic profession, e.g., law enforcement or professional sports).  So “high profile” coming-outs break down barriers and give frightened people courage.

But Mr. Spacey chose to conflate his apology to Anthony Rapp for sexually assaulting him with coming out as gay.  Ding. Wrong. Sorry. Thanks for playing!

But before I get to that, let’s look at the apology itself:

But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.

If you drink and drive, and kill someone with your car, that is not “inappropriate drunken behavior,” it is manslaughter!  The only time “I was drunk” works as an excuse for “inappropriate behavior” is if you put a lampshade on your head and declare yourself the Queen of England after one too many glasses of Merlot at a party, or hop up on a table and start twerking to Madonna, while grinding on a bath towel between your legs you’re using as a makeshift boa.  It does not excuse ANY kind of sexual assault.

Period.

But as wildly troubling as that is, why use this moment — this apology — to come out as a gay man?  I cannot see the connection — he wasn’t accused of being gay, he was accused of behavior that’s wrong no matter what your sexuality is.  On closer examination of Mr. Spacey’s non-apology apology, it either serves to distract from Anthony Rapp’s story or he’s perpetuating the myth we in the queer community have fought long and hard to debunk:  fondling teen boys is just something that gay men do because we are all child molesters.  Either way, Kevin Spacey has thrown the entire gay community under the bus on his first day as a publicly acknowledged member of it.

How dare you Kevin Spacey?

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