'Cool Runnings' Actor Malik Yoba Says He Is Attracted to Transgender Women: 'It's Time to Speak'

"Trans people deserve love and respect," Malik Yoba wrote in a recent Instagram post

Malik Yoba
Photo: Dominik Bindl/Getty

Actor Malik Yoba said he is attracted to transgender women in a lengthy social media post shared last week.

The Cool Runnings and Empire star, 51, shared a video to Instagram of a man defending his transgender girlfriend while being taunted by a group of people. According to NBC News, the man in the viral clip is Maurice "Reese" Willoughby, who reportedly died by suicide last month.

"This video is another heartbreaking example of the homophobia, transphobia hatred and hypocrisy WE as black folks, BLACK MEN in particular have to NAME, FACE and CALL OUT and do the work to heal!!!" Yoba wrote.

Yoba continued, saying that Willoughby was "confident in his choice to love who he loved" but the other men in the video "haven't been taught BY US that love is love and acceptance of Trans love is ok."

"TRANS PEOPLE DESERVE LOVE AND RESPECT AS DO THOSE OF US THAT LOVE THEM!!" Yoba wrote. "I love ALL women AND count MYSELF among those that find themselves trans attracted and I too have felt the self imposed shame that comes with that truth but it's time to speak up."

"It is NOT about GENITALIA OR SEX but about attraction to the soul and humanity of an individual and often the beauty that is in the courage and conviction to live ones truth!" the actor continued. "As a self identified cis heterosexual man I too am learning what it means to be trans attracted."

Yoba also shared that he would be hosting a workshop at the National Trans Visibility March in Washington, D.C. later this month.

Many social media users praised Yoba for his post, including Transparent's Trace Lysette, who wrote, "It's a long time coming and SO MANY high-profile men are attracted to trans women just like any other kind of woman. We need to get rid of the shame associated with loving us. It's time to SPEAK UP. Lives are at stake."

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