Connect with us

Arts & Entertainment

Anthony Rapp speaks out on aftermath since Kevin Spacey allegations

the actor says he was surprised by the response

Published

on

(Anthony Rapp. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.)

Anthony Rapp opened up about why he chose to go public with his sexual misconduct allegation against Kevin Spacey in an interview with Attitude magazine, his first since he originally shared his story with BuzzFeed last year.

Rapp says he chose to come forward with his allegation after witnessing numerous women share their stories of sexual harassment in the industry.

“In this moment, with what’s happened, it’s become clear that people can be believed and that it can have an impact,” Rapp says. “The entire apparatus that kept people silent and also kept [those guilty of harassment] safe is being dismantled.”

The actor told BuzzFeed that when he was 14 years old Kevin Spacey, who was 26 at the time, made a sexual advance on him at a party. His story sparked an onslaught of numerous sexual misconduct allegations against Spacey who apologized for his behavior. Spacey also used his apology to publicly come out as gay. The allegations led to Spacey being fired from his hit Netflix series “House of Cards” and his removal from the cast of the film “All the Money in the World.”

Rapp says the public’s response was unexpected for him.

“I was surprised that it [was] met with a positive or meaningful response,” Rapp, who says he consulted a lawyer before speaking with BuzzFeed, remarks. “I was incredibly moved by the supportive responses from so many people in my life. I’m hopeful that it will continue to have a positive effect in the future.”

The actor continued on that he hopes to empower other victims of sexual harassment to speak out on their experiences.

“There are so many different shades and degrees of this kind of behavior and these kinds of situations, but the most insidious to me is when it’s an abuse of power,” Rapp says. “No matter what, I would urge anybody to stay safe, take care of themselves and each other and to get help and support when they need it.”

“There is no such thing as truly being alone, which is what I hope this moment demonstrates, that there is strength in numbers,” he adds. “I did it to stand on the shoulders of all that I was witnessing around me. I was hopeful that sharing my story would have an impact.’

Rapp has also been breaking down barriers in his own career. His character Lieutenant Paul Stamets and Doctor Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz) on “Star Trek: Discovery” shared the Star Trek universe’s first same-sex kiss.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Online Culture

KTLA 5 Live: ‘Influencer cafe’ opens in Hollywood

The Breakfast Club is an all-day cafe that caters to social media creator culture.

Published

on

Screenshot via KTLA 5 Live

HOLLYWOOD – A restaurant calling itself a “cafe for influencers” has opened in Hollywood. The Breakfast Club is an all-day cafe that caters to social media creator culture. KTLA 5 Live spoke to the restaurant’s owner and sampled some of the items on the menu.

This segment aired Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.

Continue Reading

Movies

‘Cured’ beautifully chronicles fight for dignity

New doc revisits APA designation of homosexuality as a sickness

Published

on

Disguised as ‘Dr. H. Anonymous’ in an oversized tuxedo and distorted Nixon mask, Dr. John Fryer sent shock waves through the APA’s 1972 convention. (Photo by Kay Tobin; courtesy Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library)

At the 1970 American Psychiatric Association convention, in front of 10,000 professional members, LGBTQ activists had a single rejoinder to decades of APA designation of homosexuality as a sickness in need of treatment: “There is no ‘cure’ for that which is not a disease.” It marked the first direct clash with a psychiatric profession that had classified homosexuality as a mental disorder and advised everything from talk therapy to psychologically destructive shock therapy to “cure” homosexuality. 

After Stonewall, gay activists concluded that the classification of homosexuality as a mental illness by the APA would hold back the advancement of the gay rights movement. To secure equality, activists knew they had to debunk the idea that they are sick. 

The struggle to remove homosexuality from the APA’s definition of mental illness is beautifully chronicled in the forthcoming documentary “Cured” — beautifully because the filmmakers contrast erroneous characterizations of homosexuality by mid-century psychiatrists with mid-century photographs that bore witness to gay people’s actual nature. 

Getting the APA to change required more than storming conferences. Gay activists, for instance, pinpointed sympathetic young psychiatrists who could act to reform the APA from within and helped them win seats on the Board of Trustees. Meanwhile, the culture was changing. In the 1970s, gay visibility was growing, which boosted the campaign to end the sickness label. 

At its 1972 convention, the APA offered a platform to gay rights activists Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings. The duo invited Dr. John Fryer to testify about what it was like to be a gay psychiatrist. Fearing damage to his reputation (he had previously lost a position for being gay), Fryer donned a mask and adopted the title H. Anonymous. Despite his cloaked persona, his testimony was, in the words of one attendee, a “game-changer.” 

Fryer spoke as a gay man with “real flesh and blood stand[ing] up before this organization and ask[ing] to be listened to” and evoked the great emotional toll of being forced to live in the closet — “this is the greatest loss: our honest humanity.” The tide was turning but the intransigent faction needed a few more kicks. Representing a new generation of psychiatrists, Dr. Charles Silverstein would lay down the gauntlet: The APA could either continue to promote “undocumented theories that have unjustly harmed a great number of people” or accept the genuine science that being gay was no illness. At the next year’s convention, in a final clash between opposing sides, Gay Activist Alliance member Ronald Gold pointed out the absurdity that a medical practice predicated on making sick people well was making “gay people sick.” The APA ended its mental illness classification in 1974. 

“Cured” represents a growing awareness of the history of “curing” homosexuality. Netflix recently premiered “Pray Away” about the so-called “ex-gays” who promoted conversion therapy, the destructive practice by fundamentalist Christian quacks. The film “Boy Erased” (2018) took a similar sledgehammer to conversion therapy. 

Precisely because of the long-term ill-effects of stigmatizing gay consciousness, the LGBTQ community has in recent years targeted conversion therapy. Twenty states have banned conversion therapy for minors, and an additional five states have enacted partial bans. 

Although thoroughly discredited by medical professionals, including the APA, conversion therapy continues to harm thousands of youths each year. While “Cured” is instructive for LGBTQ activists combatting conversion therapy nationwide, it has an even more important lesson. 

“There isn’t anything wrong with them, so there can’t be anything wrong with me,” is how one gay man remembers feeling upon entering a gay bar, witnessing convivial gay men and realizing it was time to ditch his homophobic shrink and embrace himself. 

It struck a deep chord with me because I had a similar epiphany as a young man. Feeling my way around my sexuality as a grad student in New York, it all finally came together one night at a Greenwich bar as I sat across from two gay men and chatted about traveling and career ambitions. I am doing nothing wrong, I thought. It made no sense to be afraid of living my life as a gay man.

Our determination to live openly remains a potent inspiration for those still struggling with acceptance, and the strongest rebuke of those who would seek to erase us. 

“Cured” premieres on PBS on Oct. 11. 

Continue Reading

Books

A bisexual coming-of-age tale with heart

‘Things We Couldn’t Say’ offers pleasant surprises

Published

on

(Book cover image courtesy of Scholastic)

‘Things We Couldn’t Say’
By Jay Coles
c.2021, Scholastic $18.99/320 pages

You’d like an explanation, please.

Why something is done or not, why permission is denied, you’d like to hear a simple reason. You’ve been asking “Why?” since you were two years old but now the older you get, the more urgent is the need to know – although, in the new book “Things We Couldn’t Say” by Jay Coles, there could be a dozen becauses.

Sometimes, mostly when he didn’t need it to happen, Giovanni Zucker’s birth mother took over his thoughts.

It wasn’t as though she was the only thing he had to think about. Gio was an important part of the basketball team at Ben Davis High School; in fact, when he thought about college, he hoped for a basketball scholarship. He had classes to study for, two best friends he wanted to hang out with, a little brother who was his reason to get up in the morning, and a father who was always pushing for help at the church he ran. As for his romantic life, there wasn’t much to report: Gio dated girls and he’d dated guys and he was kinda feeling like he liked guys more.

So no, he didn’t want to think about his birth mother. The woman who walked out on the family when Gio was a little kid didn’t deserve his consideration at all. There was just no time for the first woman who broke his heart.

It was nice to have distractions from his thoughts. Gio’s best friends had his back. He knew pretty much everybody in his Indianapolis neighborhood. And the guy who moved across the street, a fellow b-baller named David, was becoming a good friend.

A very good friend. David was bisexual, too.

But just as their relationship was beginning, the unthinkable happened: Gio’s birth mother reached out, emailed him, wanted to meet with him, and he was torn. She said she had “reasons” for abandoning him all those years ago, and her truth was not what he’d imagined.

There are a lot of pleasant surprises inside “Things We Couldn’t Say.”

From the start, author Jay Coles gives his main character a great support system, and that’s a uniquely good thing. Gio enjoys the company of people who want the best for him, and it’s refreshing that even the ones who are villains do heroic things.

Everyone in this book, in fact, has heart, and that softens the drama that Coles adds – which leads to another nice surprise: there’s no overload of screeching drama here. Overwrought teen conflict is all but absent; even potential angsts that Gio might notice in his urban neighborhood are mentioned but not belabored. This helps keep readers focused on a fine, relatable, and very realistic coming-of-age story line.

This book is aimed at readers ages 12-and-up, but beware that there are a few gently explicit, but responsibly written, pages that might not be appropriate for kids in the lower target range. For older kids and adults, though, “Things We Couldn’t Say” offers plenty of reasons to love it.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @LosAngelesBlade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular