Kevin Spacey chose a pretty terrible moment to come out as a gay man.

There's never a bad time to start living your truth as an LGBTQ person. But, as actor Kevin Spacey's watershed coming-out moment shows, there are certainly some not great times to share that news with the public — like, for instance, when you're protecting yourself against allegations you molested a teenager.

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images.


On Oct. 29, actor Anthony Rapp alleged Spacey had made unwanted sexual advances toward him when Rapp was a minor.

More than three decades ago, when Rapp and Spacey were both working on Broadway productions, Spacey had invited Rapp over to his apartment for a party. After the other guests had left, "[Spacey] picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance," Rapp told BuzzFeed News.

Spacey would have been 26 years old at the time. Rapp was just 14.

Anthony Rapp. Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images.

Spacey, who didn't dispute Rapp's recollection of the incident, apologized in a statement Sunday night.

"I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago," Spacey wrote, blaming any misconduct on "drunken behavior."  

Spacey also chose to come out as gay in the very same statement — a move the LGBTQ community is not thrilled about.

"As the closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women," Spacey wrote. "I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man."

Normally, yes, coming out should be celebrated. But Spacey's decision to note he's part of the LGBTQ community in the same breath as he was deflecting allegations of sexual misconduct toward a minor was, as actor and comedian Billy Eichner wrote, "a bad time to come out."

Intentional or not, Spacey's statement could conflate being LGBTQ with being a sexual predator.

Many queer activists, like comedian Cameron Esposito, felt the need to make it crystal clear: Those two things are not the same.

The LGBTQ community has been fighting the myth that queer people are a danger to kids for decades.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the idea that gay men are more likely to prey on children is one of the most pervasive and harmful myths associated with queer men. Leaning heavily on debunked "science," anti-LGBTQ advocates have (often successfully) pushed this backward narrative into the forays of public debate and politics. The late singer turned activist Anita Bryant, for instance, fought to overturn a Dade County, Florida, ordinance barring discrimination of gay people in 1977 by asserting LGBTQ people were a threat to children. She won.

As film critic Richard Lawson alluded, it's shameful political victories like Bryant's that illustrate why conflating queerness with predatory behavior is so dangerous.

Spacey's statement, muddying the waters between his life as a gay man, drunken behavior, and sexual predation, adds fuel to the fire for homophobes hungry for any anecdote that could be twisted to prove their point.

If you want to celebrate Spacey for finally coming out of the closet — just remember he could've done so at any time, in any way. He chose to do so now, in response to these allegations, and in a way that risks massive negative repercussions for the rest of the LGBTQ community. This story should be one about sexual assault and how to prevent it — not a famous actor's sexual orientation.

True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

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One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.