Remember when weeks ago, rapper DaBaby riled up the wrath of the LGBTQIA+ community with vile comments about gays, AIDS, and H.I.V. while performing at Miami’s Rolling Loud festival? Justice was quick, delivered thanks partly to the wildfire his words quickly created a, spreading across the internet with lightning speed.
Almost immediately, we regular folks and top celebrities alike were calling out DaBaby for his hurtful homophobic comments that I won’t even repeat here. He was promptly ‘canceled’ despited a round of non-apologies that led me to believe not only did he not understand the severity of his words, but he underestimated which side the public was on when it comes to bias, hate speech, and homophobia.
DaBaby quickly got dropped by everybody like an ignorant hot potato, including a schedule of significant concert events, including Lollapalooza. Even his guest rap feature on Dua Lupa’s big hit, “Levitating,” was taken down from all the top music streaming sites by Lupa’s record label.
Misguidedly siding with DaBaby’s “freedom of speech” rights, rapper T.I. took to Instagram Live to defend the disgraced rap star. In his broadcast, he suggested that the LGBT community was bullying DaBady and his supporters.
He seemed to insinuate that the gays were betraying their hip hop allies, stating,
“We all stood up on behalf of gays and lesbians and people in the gay community because we thought it was some bullsh*t for y’all to have to be bullied. But I don’t think any of us did that to feel like you would now have the authority to come and bully us.”
As you can imagine, that didn’t go over well with the LGBTQIA+ community. Naturally, T.M.Z. sought out some responses from members of Queer Hollywood. So they waited one morning outside of a Los Angeles restaurant to ask Will & Grace alum Leslie Jordan his thoughts about T.I.’s comments.
Leslie shared the story on his Instagram, explaining,
‘I just went out for breakfast, and when I came out of the restaurant, the T.M.Z. was waiting on me, wanted to ask me a question.”
Metaphorically speaking, Leslie continued,
‘It comes with the dinner — if I’m gonna be famous, I’ve got to be polite. But anyway, they asked me about T.I. He said some very homophobic things, but I don’t know who that is … I’ve never heard of him ever, and I watch T.V. and everything.”
However, upon learning what T.I. said about the DaBaby debacle, the 66-year-old Jordan jokingly replied with his signature southern-fried sass,
‘Who is T.M.I.? No, that’s ‘too much information.’ So, anything that comes out of the mouth of T.I. is too much information. He needs to quit talking like that; what would your momma think, talking like that, T.I.?’
T.I. considers himself a friend of the gay community and claims to be genuinely confused about why he received such backlash. He says he was unaware his comments could be considered ‘offensive or homophobic.’ But in a mature and commendable response, T.I. took a civil approach on Instagram and offered to meet with Leslie in the future for a discussion and opportunity to become more educated on the matter.
The successful rapper wrote to Leslie:
‘Hey 👋🏽 Pleasure to meet your acquaintance, Mr.@thelesliejordan😂 I appreciate the way you expressed your point of view without being offensive or negative. I truly believe this is the way we evolve and progress as a society.
‘While I’m clueless as to what I said that was offensive/homophobic, I welcome the opportunity to speak with you on the matter. I’m hoping we can sit down and have a conversation next time I come to L.A., affording you the chance to convey your perspective to me while allowing me to express mine to you.
‘I truly believe that moments of calamity & confusion are teachable moments…. as long as we’re willing to communicate respectfully having open ears, open minds, & open dialogue without attacking or condemning one another.’
He continued: ‘Who knows 🤷🏽♂️ this could be the stroke of serendipity that raises awareness, enlightens the dim, & improves the way gays & straights communicate & co-exist in the future. 🤞🏽looking forward to it….hoping you’ll oblige. Until then…peace and blessings…love and respect to you and yours, sir.’
I must say I was impressed with T.I.’s response. It’s mature, respectful, and conveys the sentiment of someone who wants to do the work to bring us all together.
On the contrary, DaBaby’s initial poorly crafted half-ass apologies fell flat, along with a follow-up, slickly-written apology written by a P.R. company. It seemed the intent was only to save his career and stop the hemorrhaging of losses from the scores of canceled professional bookings. This is why I took offense to Miley Cyrus coming to his defense last week and asking the public to educate DaBaby about homophobia instead of ‘canceling’ him.
It’s an accessible privilege to take when you are not among the actual marginalized group attacked — which were gay men. So as much as I love you, Miley, it’s best to sit this one out. Case in point – in true homophobic D-bag fashion, DaBaby came under fire again for retracting his apologies t the LGBTQ community and deleting them from his social posts. That was just a couple of days after Cyrus got involved and advocated for compassion.
Just like the late great Maya Angelou, famously one said, “When someone shows you who you are, the first time — believe them.” Meanwhile, this sort of reminds me of President Obama’s infamous, though well-intended, “Beer Summit,” that sought to calm race relations between law enforcement and African Americans.
So, in that same spirit of togetherness, I wish T.I. and Leslie Jordan much success on their ‘Queer Summit.”
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