Justice Smith Comes Out as Queer, Calls for More LGBTQ Inclusion in Black Lives Matter Movement
Justice Smith has come out as queer and voiced his support for queer and transgender lives within the context of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom actor, 24, posted a video from a protest he attended on Friday in New Orleans alongside his partner, actor Nicholas Ashe. The protest against police brutality and racial injustice was one of many around the country following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the police.
In his Instagram post, Smith shared that he and Ashe noticed that some people would “hold their tongue” when the words trans or queer were added to the “Black Lives Matter” chants.
“@nckash and I protested today in New Orleans,” he 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 okay with letting black trans people like #TonyMcDade slip through the cracks in order to solely liberate black cishet men, it is anti-black,” he added, referencing Tony McDade, a Black transgender man who was killed by a Tallahassee Police Officer on May 27, Rolling Stone reported.
Smith continued, “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.”
In addition to his powerful message, Smith shared a sweet tribute to Ashe, who stars in Ava DuVernay’s drama Queen Sugar. Smith posted several pictures of the pair posing for the camera, brushing their teeth together, and kissing in a photo booth.
“There is so much tragedy on the timeline these last couple of days so I added some photos of me and Nic to show some #blackboyjoy #blacklove #blackqueerlove ❤️🧡💛💚💙,” he added at the end of his caption. “You’ve been my rock and guiding light through all of this and I love you so much. I know that on the other side of this Is change, though the fight is far from over.”
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.