While attending Friday’s protest against white supremacy and police brutality in New Orleans, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom star Justice Smith came out as queer to bring more visibility to Black trans and queer lives.
The actor posted a video on Instagram alongside his partner, fellow actor Nicholas Ashe.
Together, Smith and Ashe were among thousands of peaceful demonstrators across the nation marching for racial injustice following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, a Black trans man who was killed by police.
“@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.”
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.”
Smith followed up his message with a series of photos of himself and Ashe, who stars in Ava DuVernay’s drama Queen Sugar, which follows the lives of three siblings in rural Louisiana.
According to Vanity Fair, Queen Sugar is believed to be the first television series in which female directors direct every episode of the series.
“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 concluded. “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.”