As someone who has had a long-term interest in the sociology of sexuality as well as a passion for youth development and sex education, the events around Kevin Spacey at the moment are a fascinating case study. While Ben Shapiro gives his typically right-wing, yet insightful, spin in his Daily Wire article (see link below), it’s Spacey’s own comments which are truly revelatory. As cited in the article, Spacey’s recent tweet states: “…I choose now to live as a gay man.” It is exactly this element of choice which folks so often deny to others, particularly those who are gay or “questioning”. Customarily in these discussions there is a pervasive fear to allow people to choose how they live and identify!
Sexual identity is couched in the following context: you have feelings and attractions, and you have a choice of how to live and present yourself. Someone’s feelings and attractions are always mediated by the choices they are empowered to face. Spacey here is making a choice of how he wishes to be perceived and how he wishes to live his life – this is an act of empowerment! Telling someone they cannot choose is an act of disempowerment. Of course, you can choose to act according to your feelings, or deny them; your choice may be an abrasive, self-denying path, or conversely it could lead to deep fulfillment (moreover, choices affect feelings, and vice versa!). But it’s that crucial element of choice which is the gateway to empowerment.
- Ben Shapiro’s article: “HORRIFYING: Spacey Quasi-Admits Molesting 14-Year-Old, Comes Out As Gay. Media Cheer Him Coming Out”
I have explored this interface of choice, feelings and empowerment in various blogs previously. I hope to share more in time! In fact, God-wiling I will publish a book one day exploring these more deeply, particularly in relation to identity development. But here’s a couple of links to my blogs around these ideas: