An Open Letter to Kevin Spacey from a Fellow Queer

Dear Mr. Spacey,

Two weeks ago, my boyfriend and I finished watching the fifth season of "House of Cards." For the past two years, we have happily watched each episode, simultaneously despising Frank Underwood but praising your brilliant, gripping performance as the conniving president of the United States. You play the villain everyone loves to hate, and with each new episode we watched my opinion of you only grew higher. Of course, I’d been a ‘Kay Spay’ fan from the beginning - ask me about my obsession with “American Beauty” and how often I reference Hopper from “A Bug’s Life” in casual conversation. This year alone, I saw “Baby Driver” solely because I knew you were in it. As a lover of theatre, I’ve been in awe with your versatility and immediate, piercing command of the stage. I used to consider you one of the greats.

I never imagined that my opinion of you would change so suddenly.

Let me first say, that even before you officially “came out,” I admired you for your success as, who I assumed, was a queer individual. I am, likewise, a part of the LGBTQ community, and found comfort knowing that you and I were probably both struggling with the same identity problems. I understood why you probably wanted to hide all these years, and I figured that you would one day share your gay pride with the world in a beautifully empowering, eloquent manner - as you had always handled matters before. So, Mr. Spacey, what went wrong?

Oh, that’s right. You got caught.

For decades, as a closeted individual, you have reaped the benefits of a straight man. Your non-disclosure protected you - insured that you would not be seen as less-than, like the rest of the queer community. It guaranteed you jobs, fans, praise and economic benefit. You hid, and it served you well.

Now, you decide to reveal your sexuality with the hope that it will once again serve you well, by creating media headlines that will surely trump those of any accusation against you. A protected image, a protected ego. Normally, with influential people like yourself, coming out garners sympathy and an added sense of respect. It’s brave, as people say, and a worthwhile move to show others that they, too, do not have to pretend to be someone they’re not.

Yet, Mr. Spacey, your choice to “come out” amid sexual assault allegations merits no positive recognition. Your choice, because of the timing, is not courageous. It is not a celebration of pride. It is not a call for acceptance. It is not an act of love. It is nothing of what coming out should be.

Instead, you have put your community - fellow LGBTQ individuals - at risk. By identifying with us alongside your so-called “apology” for sexual assault, you equate queer individuals with the exact bigoted stereotypes the community has fought to distance itself from for decades. Let me shout this from the hilltops; identifying as queer individuals does not make us perverts. We, as a community, are not child molesters. We are not rapists. The actions of one do not reflect the mindsets of many.

I wish so much that I could respect you again. I want to know you as the person you have always seemed to be; a talented, charming and successful actor who keeps to himself, but likewise has no damning traits to hide. The only thing I feel toward you now is resentment. I, as a queer woman, feel used. My identity is not a cushion to soften the blow of your wrongdoings. It is not a curtain to hide behind while karma comes back to bite you. Most of all, it is not any way a link to or an excuse for sexual assault.

Shame on you.

Sincerely,

A former fan

Photo credits: Cover image, 1, 2