(WM) “Detective Pikachu” and “Jurassic World” star Justice Smith recently came out as queer on Instagram by sharing photos of himself with his boyfriend, actor Nicholas L. Ashe.
Smith posted the photos alongside a video of a Black Lives Matter protest in New Orleans that he and Ashe attended. In a caption for the post, Smith noted the reticence of some protesters in embracing the struggle of black trans and queer individuals and stressed the importance of advocating for the lives of black queer people.
“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 said. “I want to reiterate this sentiment: if your revolution does not include Black Queer voices, it is anti-black.”
Smith added that while the urge to conform to society’s standards is understandable to a degree, it ultimately takes away from the broader mission of social equality for various marginalized groups.
“It is in our conditioning to get as close to whiteness, straightness, maleness as we can because that’s where the power is,” Smith said. “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 included photos of himself and Ashe within the post to provide a form of positive black queer representation – i.e. “#blackboyjoy #blacklove #blackqueerlove.” Smith also thanked Ashe for being his “rock and guiding light through all of this.”
Smith’s latest film, the romance “All the Bright Places” was released on Feb. 28 and is currently available for streaming on Netflix. Production on the sci-fi adventure film “Jurassic World: Dominion,” which Smith is also set to star in, was halted earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and is currently slated for release on June 11, 2021.