Coming out isn’t what it used to be. Over the past 2 decades, the societal view of the LGBT community has gone from a daring decision to widespread acceptance. Where once men fear for their safety by admitting same-sex attraction in a culture of homophobia and violence, now men can freely own their sexuality as a very positive thing.
That said, 58-year-old Kevin Spacey grew up immersed in that culture of homophobia – where it was perfectly acceptable to threaten violence against ‘fags’. These cultural changes towards acceptance were as rapid as they were dramatic. I am younger than Kevin Spacey and I remember an adolescence where bad/lame things were ‘gay’ and ‘punching a faggot’ was a perfectly acceptable response if another guy expressed sexual interest. I never knew that being ‘bisexual’ was an option until I was legally an adult. I can only assume this was even more exaggerated for the young Kevin Spacey as he grew up decades earlier.
Kevin Spacey has kept his sexuality private for all his life. Just because he is a ‘celebrity’ doesn’t make his sex life any of your damn business. He chose to keep his sex life completely private – probably as a direct result of being scared and harshly judged by society/peers as he grew up in a society openly hostile to anything other than heterosexual monogamous relationships.
On October 29th, Kevin finally came out – on Twitter. Why did he come out? He had no damn choice. He was essentially outed by Anthony Rapp who accused Kevin Spacey of sexually assaulting him when he was just 14 years old. Kevin apologized for the incident if it had occurred but he had absolutely no recollection of the event. It allegedly occurred 31 years ago on a night he had been drinking heavily. Does that mean that Anthony Rapp’s version is completely accurate and beyond question? Memories are notorious to shift and change over time. Memories have been studied and they are heavily influenced by who you tell the story to and how you choose to tell it… hell, there have been multiple studies proving that people can straight up create facts and events of major traumas, crimes and other significant life events if prodded in the right way by researchers. Our memories are simply unreliable. This is a scientific fact.
Convicting Kevin Spacey in the court of public opinion based on the 30+-year-old memories of a 14-year-old is disgusting.
Worse, the treasured privacy that Keven Spacey has spent literally decades protecting was shattered as he no doubt felt obligated to ‘come out’ so that the context of these allegations made sense. The court of public opinion has labeled Spacey a sexually assaulting pedophile as his reward. But let’s take a closer look at the alleged ‘assault’.
Anthony Rapp currently claims that he attended a cast party at Spacey’s place but got bored as he was younger than everyone else and went to watch TV in Spacey’s room. Spacey got drunk – as people having a party in their own home often do. When the rest of the guests left, he went to lay down but found a young male on his bed. He laid down beside him or on top of the boy and tried to kiss him – obviously connecting the dots that if a young male is waiting for you on your bed, he is probably wanting some action. Rapp rejected Spacey’s advances and Spacey apologized as Rapp quickly left the apartment. If Rapp wasn’t 14, I personally wouldn’t call this an ‘assault’ at all! Trying to kiss someone and getting rejected – and graciously handling that rejection – is EXTREMELY different from punching and raping someone against their will. The former is an attempt at lovemaking and the latter is about power, aggression, and rape. They are not even close to equal.
In the current climate of sexual assault revealing, Kevin Spacey is a casualty where he is being tarred with the same brush as the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. Charlie Rose was just accused of multiple counts of harassment including putting his hand down a vastly younger girl’s pants and touching her genitals while she cried. He even asked her, “Why are you crying, baby?” Kevin Spacey has just 1 accuser — unlike all of the aforementioned with dozens. These extreme examples are not the same, in my eyes, as a human reaching out for tenderness and love in an often cruel world. And I see no value in making every guy terrified to initiate any form of intimate contact. It takes love out of the world. Shaming guys for having sexual desires hails from the days of the Puritans and will move us closer to a world where guys fear everyone other than a sex robot.
Now onto the harsher attacks on Spacey. People refer to Rapp’s age as evidence of pedophilia. Damn, that is a harsh accusation! And it’s not even technically correct: Pedophilia is an interest in prepubescent children. Hebophilia is an interest in adolescent post-puberty children. And as unpopular as this next statement will be with some, being interested in those that have hit sexual maturity, regardless of their age, should not be considered a major crime against humanity. For hundreds of thousands of years, humans have mated with those under 18. Hell, our life expectancy used to be just 21 at one point in humanity’s history. IF you didn’t mate with teenagers…you didn’t pass on your DNA and those people are not a major part of our shared genetic diversity. Btw, the age of 18 was chosen as ‘mature’ strictly because of the school system and served to prevent students from shagging each other.
Regardless of the age difference, I would like to propose an equally likely scenario. Anthony Rapp went to the cast party and then went all antisocial and hid in the bedroom to watch TV. Kevin Spacey got drunk. He returned to his room pretty wasted and laid down on the bed beside Anthony. Anthony, immersed in the culture of homophobia of the time and being 14 was completely unsure of his own sexuality, completely freaked out and fled the bedroom. Over time, he invented the more elaborate version of the tale – and he probably fully believes it as fact – as I mentioned, our memories are fluid and change with time. But Antony may have invented most of the details and incorporated them into his memory.
More sinister, Antony may be jealous of Kevin Spacey’s career or he may be simply seeking more fame as I certainly had never heard of Antony Rapp before this event. I’m not trying to ‘blame the victim’ here nor suggest that all people who come forward with claims of sexual assault or harassment are liars. Far from it. I think the vast majority are likely true. But I also don’t think automatically believing every story people tell me is a solid plan either. People lie. A lot. They lie for personal gain, to protect their ego, to hurt people, for fame, for love…even for fun. Saying that people lie in all circumstances except this one is incredibly stupid.
And look at the damage this mere accusation, without any evidence whatsoever, has done. Kevin Spacey has lost his role in House of Cards. He was removed from a film he had already shot. His reputation is in ruins. He is being utterly screwed. For what? For an alleged event that he cannot even recall? Something that supposedly happened over 30 years ago? An event that did not cause any actual harm – granted that generation snowflake will argue that Antony was scarred for life by this ‘predator’ (who only preyed on him and no one else??) — but the fact is: someone older tried to kiss him. Considering all the terrible things that men can do to each other… I will take someone trying to kiss me any day: and be flattered by it. Then, I’d move on.
This, of all things, is not worth time nor attention it has been given. And it certainly isn’t worth denying me quality movies like American Beauty or TV like House of Cards. And ultimately, if it affects me negatively, it kinda pisses me off.