The Spacey Conundrum

It’s long been rumored that Kevin Spacey is gay. A college friend of mine claims even to have seen him on a cruise (no pun intended, there) with his (male) then-paramour. Maybe still paramour, who knows? As for Spacey, he’s notorious for keeping his personal life very close to the vest, so to speak. Which is perfectly fine and completely understandable. Hollywood is a fishbowl, and any and every rumour is pursued with vigour.

As an openly gay man myself and someone who doesn’t think sexual orientation is a matter of choice or should matter in any circumstance, Spacey’s sexuality is his private matter, whichever direction he may lean. The Spacey Conundrum is just that — whether such a public figure as Spacey, if he is in fact gay, should make such a private matter public. As if public figures who happen to be LGBT “owe” it to the LGBT community to publicly declare their sexuality as a matter of public interest. Advocacy for LGBT equality *is* certainly in the public interest, but I don’t believe one’s personal life, including one’s sexual orientation, need be public just because the individual is one with a public microphone. If a celebrity in any arena — be it music, film/TV, athletics, politics, etc. — wishes to be publicly known as an LGBT individual, more power to them. Hopefully one day soon we’ll get to the point where Michael Sam becoming the first openly gay NFLer or Robbie Keane the first footballer in the US of the other sort is no longer considered breaking news.

I’m open about my sexuality because I have to be; I can’t and don’t hide anything about myself because that’s what recovering from nearly dying multiple times demanded that I be open. But if Spacey doesn’t want to share — regardless of he’s gay or straight — that’s his prerogative; I don’t feel like he owes me or my community anything, if he is. No public figure owes it to the LGBT community to be vocal about their sexuality if they’re LGBT — that’s their business. So Kevin Spacey, I salute you for retaining your right to privacy; in the culture in which you work, that’s not an easy feat.

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~ by Benji on 21 July 2014.

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