The Get Down star Justice Smith came out as queer in a powerful Instagram post Friday night, also announcing that he’s dating 25-year-old Queen Sugar actor Nicholas Ashe, sharing an adorable photo of the couple kissing.
“@nckash and I protested today in New Orleans,” the 24-year-old actor began. “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.”
Smith then used his platform to champion the black queer community by teaching his 360,000 followers about impactful allyship.
“I want to reiterate this sentiment: if your revolution does not include Black Queer voices, it is anti-black,” he continued. “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 went on to explain why he feels it’s imperative that the Black Lives Matter movement is inclusive to all — and explained his grievances with those who remain silent in regards to the LGBTQ+ community.
“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.”
He continued: “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.”
“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 said. “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.”
The post also featured a series of hastags: #justicefortonymcdade, #justiceforninapop, #justiceforgeorgefloyd, #justiceforahmaud, #justiceforbreonna, #sayhername, #defundthepolice and #endwhitesupremacy.
In the video leading Smith’s post, a peaceful mantra rang out at the protest in the French Quarter of New Orleans: “Black Trans Lives are sacred, Black Trans lives are worthy, we matter, we matter.”
The collection also featured a series of photos featuring him and his partner brushing their teeth, smiling and sharing a loving photo-booth-smooch.
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