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Spacey's actions have nothing to do with his sexuality — like anyone who makes unwanted sexual advances on young teens, it is about one thing and one thing only: Power.

By Dr. Jonathan P. Higgins With the news of actor Anthony Rapp alleging that fellow actor Kevin Spacey made sexual advances towards him when Rapp was 14-years-old, many are more than upset with the way that Spacey responded to Buzzfeed’s article. In a statement released on Spacey’s personal social media account, his response was more focused on his sexuality and his alcohol usage than how his actions affected Rapp. With this type of gaslighting that happens very often to young men who are sexually abused by adult men, many on social media have been left asking: Why do we as a society always conflate homosexuality with pedophilia, ephebophilia and hebephilia? https://twitter.com/KevinSpacey/status/924848412842971136 We have to acknowledge the danger in what Spacey said. For years, society has always found a way to make the point that young men are molested by other men because of older men’s sexuality. But what Spacey allegedly did to Rapp, and what happens to thousands of young men, has nothing to do with sexuality and all to do with a pyschosexual disorder. Gregory Herek, a well known researcher and psychologist of gay violence at University of California Davis has noted this in their work, stating that pedophilia is a “pyschosexual disorder characterized by the preference for prepubescent children as sexual partners”. Herek points out that we must focus on the “actions” rather the “makeup or the motive of said perpetrator”. Spacey's actions have nothing to do with his sexuality — like anyone who makes unwanted sexual advances on young teens, it is about one thing and one thing only: Power. In most situations, child molesters and sexual abusers are usually in some type of powerful position and use said power (be it social capital, strength or otherwise) as a way to control their victim. For most perpetrators, it is never about the one’s sexual orientation, but having the said power and ability to control the victim. Research shows that most often pedophiles aren’t hung up on the gender of their victims, but the accessibility.

However much the directors of "Check It" claim to love the participants, a crime has still been committed in this trauma-porn production.

In late Spring 2016, I posed for a photo shoot with my friend and activist Charlie Craggs. The publicity was for a self-defense class for trans women and our photographer was the incredibly talented late Khadija Saye who died in the Grenfell Tower fire last month. The healing nature of this moment came at the right time as I had escaped an abusive relationship and had the space in therapy to cry about the sexual, verbal and physical assaults that give me flashback shivers on a hot day and make me cry myself awake from nightmares. The intensity of the violence I faced throughout my teenage years erupted in panic attacks and insomnia and self-destructive behaviors. Manifestations of rage arrived later when I became aware of the political nature of my oppression. I met other queer people of color at university, Black Pride events, a Black gay arts organization and a hilariously tense nightclub called Bootylicious. Shell-shocked and internally wounded we nodded in unison, danced, loved and hurt each other repeatedly not knowing how to make ourselves feel better after so much had been done to make us feel worthless.

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