No use pretending that 2017 was a terrific year. Just two words: President Trump, and everything that implies, from antigay appointees to transphobic policies. But it’s easy to overlook the positive trends that emerged in the past year–in part a reaction to Trump. Call it the counter revolution.
Here’s the fourth in our year-in-review series, Silver Linings 2017.
After decades of silence, sexual harassment is finally out in the open and the perpetrators are paying the price.
While a lot of attention has been paid to the dozens of men accused of assaulting women, the #MeToo movement has caught up with a few men who have sex with men (not really with a gay identity yet) who were previously untouchable.
Foremost among them is Kevin Spacey, who was finally revealed as a creepy fraud after actor Anthony Rapp related how Spacey hit on him when he was just 14.
In a move that has become immortal in the annals of cluelessness, Spacey decided that the antidote to an accusation of pedophilia was to come out of his glass closet.
Kevin Spacey: My sexuality is none of your biz.
Anthony Rapp: Kevin Spacey assaulted me when I was 14.
Kevin Spacey: I’m a proud gay man!
— Lara Marie Schoenhals (@LarzMarie) October 30, 2017
Largely undiscussed in the conversation about #metoo is its impact on the closet.
Hollywood in particular has been a holdout against the movement toward radical openness on sexuality and gender identity. Harassers have long counted on the fact that victims are afraid of speaking out because of the impact being gay (or even perceived as gay) would have on their careers.
Now that the seamy underside of the business is being exposed, the closet is losing more of its power. Keeping secrets is no longer okay, and that spells bad news for the closet.
What started because of abusive behavior will have longer-term implications, and that’s definitely a silver lining.