Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey has equated being asked about his sexuality to schoolyard bullying.

The American-born, 51-year-old actor has called London, England his home since 2003.

Speaking to Kevin Sessums, the openly gay author, in an interview published Tuesday on The Daily Beast, Spacey vigorously defends his right to keep quiet on the issue of his sexuality.

Sessums challenges Spacey's assertion that he has a right to privacy: “I don't think being gay is a private matter. Heterosexuals don't consider their heterosexuality itself a private matter.”

“Let's enlarge the subject even more,” Spacey responds. “I think what we have seen in terms of gay teenagers committing suicide because of bullying is anguishing. I think young people, if they are feeling like they are confused, need to know that there are people to talk to and that there are places they can go and not feel alone. But I feel that they have just as many rights as I do not to be bullied.”

Sessums disagrees, saying, “Well, I don't equate my discussing this with you as bullying you. You are an accomplished grown man, not a fearful teenager.”

Spacey returns with the suggestion that Sessums is using sexuality as a weapon: “So if we stop using sexuality as a weapon against people maybe everyone will eventually get cool with it.”

Which puts Sessums on the defense.

“But I'm not attacking you. I don't see sexuality as a weapon. I see it as a gift.”

Prompting Spacey to dig in: “Look, at the end of the day people have to respect people's differences. I am different than some people would like me to be. I just don't buy into that the personal can be political. I just think that's horseshit. No one's personal life is in the public interest. It's gossip, bottom line. End of story.”

Spacey appears in the film Casino Jack, which opens on Friday.