Statement on Kevin Spacey Comments
Following today’s comments by the actor, Kevin Spacey, Survivors Manchester would like to issue the following statement:
This morning, we woke to the news that Actor Kevin Spacey had chose to publically address the issue of his sexual orientation by coming out as gay. As a service working working with men who have held ‘secrets’ from the world, we know how difficult it can be to share something with the world. Our data shows us that approx 25% of men who access our service identify as gay or bisexual and for many men, confusion around sexuality can often be intertwined with the impact and legacy of abuse.
However, we are also now aware that his ‘coming out’ is also in response to fellow actor, Anthony Rapp’s accusation that Mr Spacey sexually assaulted him as a 14 year old boy.
Mr Rapp says in his public statement that he has come forward “standing on the shoulders of the man couregeous women and men who have been speaking out” and we offer him our praise and admiration for showing such bravery.
Whilst we dont wish to ignore anyone’s courage in ‘coming out’ as a gay man or a survivor of sexual abuse, we feel strongly that to do it in response to allegations of sexual assault is not only insulting to the gay community in so far as to offer some ‘reason’ to his alledged behaviour or to deflect from it, but is equally extremely dangerous in fuelling a long held and misguided belief of a link between homosexuality and sexual offending against minors.
We do not believe that any ‘use’ of sexuality as a distraction from the horror of sexual assault is acceptable. No amount of suggested ‘drunkenness’ can ever explain or excuse the sexual assualt, harrassment or contact with a child, whether the perpertator identified as gay, bisexual or heterosexual.
We would ask the media to recognise the bravery of Anthony Rapp; recognise the difference between the perpetrator of sexual assault and an individual’s sexual orientation; and take a stance against any links which will inevitably now be made between homosexuality and paedophilla.
Duncan Craig – Chief Executive Officer