Justice Smith wants to make sure that the Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t forget about Black members of the LGBTQ+ community. In a passionate Instagram post shared on June 5, Justice Smith came out as queer and championed the Black LGBTQ+ community, while also encouraging supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement not to ignore its queer and trans members. Along with a video from a protest against police brutality in New Orleans — where someone was singing "Black Trans Lives Matter" and "Black Trans Lives are worth" — the Detective Pikachu star shared several romantic photos with his partner, Nicholas Ashe, to illustrate his post.
"[Nic] and I protested today in New Orleans," Smith wrote on Instagram. "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."
The actor then explained to his followers that activism needs to be intersectional, writing, "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 Tony McDade slip through the cracks in order to solely liberate black cishet men, it is anti-black." McDade, a Black trans man from Tallahassee, Florida, was shot and killed by police on May 27; the officer responsible has been placed on administrative leave, but their name has not been released.
"You are trying to push yourself through the door of a system designed against you, and then shut the door behind you," Smith wrote. "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."
However, he continued, "the revolution is not about appeal." The All the Bright Places actor noted that the movement is about "demanding what should have been given to us from the beginning." And he further elaborated that he meant "black, queer, and trans individuals" have "the right to exist. To live and prosper in public. Without fear of persecution or threat of violence."
To conclude his post, Smith explained that because there has been "so much tragedy on the timeline these last couple of days," he decided to add some photos of him and Nic in order to show his followers "some #blackboyjoy#blacklove#blackqueerlove." He also added a series of rainbow heart emojis, before ending his post with another message of love. "You’ve been my rock and guiding light through all of this and I love you so much," Smith wrote. "I know that on the other side of this Is change, though the fight is far from over."
In addition to his post, Smith has also been sharing resources for people who want to help the fight for justice for McDade, Breonna Taylor, and other Black people who have been killed by police on his Instagram Story. Clearly, Smith is doing his best to make sure that nobody gets left behind in the ongoing quest for justice and equality.
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