In coming out queer, Justice Smith calls for more LGBT inclusion in Black Lives Matter
Tue. June 9, 2020 10:58 AM by Carlos Santoscoy
The 24-year-old Smith – who appears in the films Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Detective Pikachu – posted his announcement on Instagram.
Smith bundled video from a Black Lives Matter protest he attended on Friday in New Orleans and photos of himself and his boyfriend, actor Nicholas Ashe. In one photo, the men share a kiss.
"@nckash and I protested today in New Orleans," Smith wrote.
"We chanted 'Black Trans Lives Matter' 'Black Queer Lives Matter' 'All Black Lives Matter.' As a Black queer man myself, I was disappointed to see certain people eager to say Black Lives Matter, but hold their tongue when Trans/Queer was added. I want to reiterate this sentiment. If your revolution does not include Black Queer voices, it is anti-Black. If your revolution is OK with letting Black trans people like #TonyMcDade slip through the cracks in order to solely liberate Black cishet men, it is anti-Black," he said, referring to Tony McDade, a 38-year-old black transgender man who was fatally shot last month by an officer of the Tallahassee Police Department. McDade was a suspect in a fatal stabbing.
"You are trying to push yourself through the door of a system designed against you, and then shut the door behind you. It is in our conditioning to get as close to whiteness, straightness, maleness as we can because that's where the power is. And if we appeal to it, maybe it'll give us a slice. But the revolution is not about appeal. It is about demanding what should have been given to us from the beginning. What should have been given to black, queer, and trans individuals from the beginning. Which is the right to exist. To live and prosper in public. Without fear of persecution or threat of violence," he said.
Ashe plays Micah West on the Oprah Winfrey Network drama Queen Sugar.
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