“People were queer in your day and before your day, and they'll be queer after your day,” says Raven Baker, Unbothered's associate social media editor, on this week's episode of Go Off, Sis. It's true: While LGBTQIA visibility is increasing, discrimination and inequality continue to make it difficult to exist as a queer person, no matter where you are in the world. That's why the women of R29 Unbothered sat down to address homophobia in the Black community and what role they can play, as Black women, in dismantling prejudice against queer people of color. Baker reminds us of why we shouldn't use proximity to queer culture (whether that be through friends or service people) as a reason to excuse homophobia.
"I'm never going to sacrifice a friend, a cousin, anybody in my life who is of the queer community to say, 'Look, I can say these things because look, this person, I hang out with them all the time,'" she says. "That's a horrible excuse, and it's old and it's tired, and I definitely hope that going forward it's something that we move away from."
Danielle Cadet, R29 Unbothered's managing editor, places an emphasis on leaning into acceptance as well: "It's SO important to also see our LGBTQIA sisters and brothers as equal."
Black trans activist and plus-size model Jari Jones also jumps in with some serious wisdom: "If we continue to create these spaces where we can have conversation, where we can talk, where we can understand together, where we can cry together, where we can get mad at each other, and really let that be for us, I think we can definitely get somewhere."
Listen to the women of Unbothered (and guest star Jari Jones) discuss what it looks like to confront homophobia and champion queer inclusivity below.