SAM KESSELMAN (GRADE 12)
Something that I find really infuriating right now is the whole business of Kevin Spacey. Back when he was a young actor, he allegedly sexually assaulted a then-fourteen-year-old actor at a cast party. This has been one of the latest revelations regarding sexual assaults in Hollywood. Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, and countless other influential men in the film and TV industries have come under scrutiny for harassment and assault too. However, the men have typically followed the usual path in these matters: denying any non-consensual acts. On the other hand, Spacey has admitted that the report might be true, but then, in the same breath, came out of the closet as gay.
For some bewildering reason, Spacey’s publicist thought coming out of the closet would explain away his disgusting acts towards a minor. This is conflating this idea that coming out as gay, a great thing for a gay person to do, is equal to coming out as a sexual assaulter. Obviously, coming out as gay is something to be celebrated, whereas being outed as a sexual assaulter reveals horrific behavior. Spacey’s attempt to blur the two together only detracts from people in the LGBTQ+ who have a tough time coming out. Although I am not a member of this community, coming out, from what I have seen, heard, and read, can be challenging and scary for many. But, when Spacey uses it as an excuse for sexual assault, he is bringing people down who legitimately have hardships associated with coming out. Coming out is a process of being comfortable with who you are in society, not a way to apologize or make excuses for despicable behavior. Kevin Spacey must own up to his actions, and understand that being gay and being an assaulter are not equivalent or even related whatsoever.