It would be easy to say how delicious it is to watch the LGBT community pillory one of its own, even a very famous person, for coming out publicly as gay. But I won’t.
Two things emerge from the angry reactions to Kevin Spacey’s “oh, I’m gay” casual drop on social media. Both of them are good things and unworthy of conservative or Christian condescension or preaching down our noses.
First, it’s no longer a big deal for a celebrity to come out. If they’re gay, they’re gay. Everyone, apparently, for years speculated on Spacey’s sexual orientation (not me). And for years, Spacey replied it’s none of anyone’s business (he’s right). It should be no big deal when he, or anyone, decides to make such private life details public–especially the detail of sexual orientation. I suppose in 1986, or 1992, or even 2001, it was newsworthy when a celebrity came out, but now it’s just not compelling.
Why is that a positive? Because it means we’re past the “leave the gay guy alone because he’s so brave” phase. It means that Christians and the LGBT community can positively engage on things where there’s common ground of civility and morality instead of virtue signalling bravery. Of course, that’s a completely different story with transgenders and others who have pushed the slippery slope, and play the “brave” game. It’s just not true for a gay celebrity anymore.
Second, it is a big deal to molest a 14-year-old boy. I don’t care about the circumstances. If it’s wrong for a grown man to proposition a 14-year-old girl, or for a substitute teacher to hook up with a 14-year-old boy, it’s wrong for Spacey to invite a kid to his apartment for a party, where there’s drinking and adult activities. It’s wrong for him to find that boy on a bed and proceed to physically do anything to him. Drunk or not, adults are responsible for their behavior.
Other celebrities spoke out against Spacey for attempting to now use a “PR smokescreen” to draw attention away from Rapp’s claims. “This is not a coming-out story about Kevin Spacey, but a story of survivorship by Anthony Rapp and all those who bravely speak out against unwanted sexual advances.
For starters, he almost certainly would have been congratulated – a Hollywood A-lister publicly coming out in a world where being gay is considered by many to damage ticket sales. Anthony Rapp, who was 14 at the time, told BuzzFeed that Spacey invited him to a party and seemed drunk when the alleged incident happened. More and more they’re coming out, every day.
It’s good that the LGBT community didn’t give Spacey a pass for this behavior. Now if they’d stop GLAAD from teaching in our schools that this is normal, that would be another positive step.
I hope that the condemnation of Spacey for using the “I’m gay” drop to deflect his revolting molestation isn’t just against celebrities. It needs to be a blanket condemnation.
But at least we have common ground now for that discussion.