After years of speculation that he is gay, actor Kevin Spacey finally came out in a statement last night. Kevin Spacey coming out was combined with the admission that he may have sexually propositioned Anthony Rapp in 1986. Rapp was 14-years-old at the time.
Some people are outraged that Spacey conflated his coming out with his response to the sexual assault allegations, as they think it further combines a stigma against the gay community that we’re all predators.
Others are also claiming that Spacey’s decision to come out while responding to the sexual assault allegations is a deflection strategy.
On Twitter, Spacey posted this statement:
I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I am beyond horrified to hear his story. I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. 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.
This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life. I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy. As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I chose now to live as a gay man. I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behavior.
Numerous negative reactions to Kevin Spacey coming out
Dan Savage tweeted: “Nope to Kevin Spacey’s statement. Nope. There’s no amount of drunk or closeted that excuses or explains away assaulting a 14-year-old child.”
Nope to Kevin Spacey's statement. Nope. There's no amount of drunk or closeted that excuses or explains away assaulting a 14-year-old child.
— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) October 30, 2017
Vanity Fair Editor Richard Lawson wrote a lengthy response on Kevin Spacey coming out saying:
The psychology of the closet is dark and cruel and self-punishing. That Spacey has dwelt in that for years is sad. But 14 is 14. Coming out as a gay man is not the same thing as coming out as someone who preyed on a 14-year-old. Conflating those things is disgusting. This exposes the gay community to a million tired old criticisms and conspiracies. The distance we’ve had to walk to get away from the notion that we’re all pedophiles is significant. For a famous person to deflect these accusations with a long-in-the-making coming out is so cruel to his supposed new community it stings. How dare you implicate us all in this.
Ashlee Marie Preston, a transgender activist who has made headlines lately for her extremely outspoken criticism of Caitlyn Jenner, echoed Lawson when she tweeted, “I’m not interested in Kevin Spacey being gay. I’m curious as to why we’re conflating sexuality w/ the molestation of a minor. Stay on topic.”
I'm not interested in Kevin Spacey being gay. I'm curious as to why we're conflating sexuality w/ the molestation of a minor. Stay on topic
— Ashlee Marie Preston (@AshleeMPreston) October 30, 2017
Kat Blaque, a popular transgender YouTuber, wrote:
Sexual assault is not about sexual attraction or sexuality. It’s about power. Plenty of straight men rape other men and boys b/c they can. And men are even less likely to report sexual violence. Powerful men assault young boys all the time. See: fathers, coaches, priests and men in the entertainment industry. This doesn’t make them gay. And associating homosexuality with rape and sexual assault is just a continuation of a trope that doesn’t reflect reality.
Sexual assault is not about sexual attraction or sexuality. It's about power. Plenty of straight men rape other men and boys b/c they can https://t.co/YAGoupuvRe
— ?Black Cat? (@kat_blaque) October 30, 2017
“Kevin Spacey, the LGBTQ community is not a prop for you to hide behind when you have been accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old,” said another user.
kevin spacey, the lgbtq community is not a prop for you to hide behind when you have been accused of sexually assaulting a 14 year old.
— jc (@mutateing) October 30, 2017
Billy Eichner had a more comical approach to the topic, but still stayed on topic that Spacey’s coming out is flawed. He tweeted, “Kevin Spacey has just invented something that has never existed before: a bad time to come out.”
Kevin Spacey has just invented something that has never existed before: a bad time to come out.
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) October 30, 2017
Here are some other tweets condemning the actor’s statement:
Oh wow. Kevin Spacey deflecting from attempting to molest a child by coming out as gay is the absolute pits.
— Owen Jones? (@OwenJones84) October 30, 2017
Saying you are “choosing” to live as a gay man will not deflect from allegations of sexual assault of a minor. https://t.co/ycBLfGbzVn
— Valerie Jarrett (@ValerieJarrett) October 30, 2017
Just wanna be really fucking clear that being gay has nothing to do w/ going after underage folks
— Cameron Esposito (@cameronesposito) October 30, 2017
Kevin Spacey has set gay rights back fifty years by a) conflating homosexuality with paedophilia and b) Saying that being gay is a "choice."
— Eden Adder Calvary (@EACalvary) October 30, 2017
In my part of the world many still face violence & jail every day because of homophobic propaganda effectively linking homosexuality & pedophilia.
How dare you, Kevin Spacey
— Maxim Eristavi (@MaximEristavi) October 30, 2017
Shoutout to the LGBT community for condemning Kevin Spacey
Sexuality is not an excuse/distraction for criminal behaviour pic.twitter.com/phg9CkQy2u
— Rachel? (@rachelcantsleep) October 30, 2017