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Opinions are the writer’s own and not those of Blavity's.

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I am gay and I am a 12-year HIV-positive survivor.

When it comes to my personal health and sexual activity, I’m an open book. This is not done to be braggadocious or to present myself as an antithesis to people who chose to “move in silence.” It’s quite the contrary. I appreciate those who can and do operate on a “need to know basis,” some of the very people that DaBaby disrespected in his homo/queer antagonistic, sexist and HIV-adversarial rant from his performance at the Rolling Loud music festival in Miami this past weekend.

But it is the silence that continues to have public figures like DaBaby reveal themselves as the dangerous problem that they are. (They have never just been problematic. They are a problem, full stop.) Make no mistake that he has made himself quite known where he stands in regards to the role of mainstream rappers continuing the old tried and true narrative of being a lethal combination of sexist, misogynistic and homoantagonistic. His consistent online trolling of Megan Thee Stallion was exacerbated further by purposely bringing her accused abuser, Tory Lanez, on stage with him as a “surprise guest” performer (right after Megan’s set on the same stage).

It is never a surprise, as birds of a feather all fall from the same tree.

I have read a few reactions to what he said; of course, I’ve seen T.I.’s also unsurprising, yet just ridiculous defense of what DaBaby had to say. (Just another bird with the same feather.) I‘ve also seen viral debates taking place pretty much asking the same question: Why?

Why did DaBaby go on this “sudden” and uncalled for tirade, and why did he choose queer men as the target? Some of the answers have sickened me. Some are going on to assume that perhaps DaBaby is suffering from some sort of internalized feelings of queerness on his behalf. Full. On. Stop.

What I will not be silent about, nor allow, is the narrative to shift onto him in any form that remotely resembles pity. Not only is there no evidence that he has ever dabbled or even thought about having relations with another queer person, but it is also an unnecessary juncture from the issue at hand — which was what he said. What he said on that public stage was unnecessarily directly hostile to people who live with the HIV infection every day, women (by questioning their health and cleanliness) and those who take part in sexual behaviors deemed deviant. Even if it is true that he is suppressing some sort of feelings of queerness, even curiosity, nobody should be given space to be so visceral in their speech towards anybody, especially to those who have done absolutely nothing to him.

Unfortunately, the space to be outrightly affronted is allowed for queer people, women and people living with HIV, isn’t it? What remains both infuriating and saddening to me is that people, even women and people of the queer experience, will defend people like DaBaby.

In his ill-received response to the backlash, he stated “even my gay fans got standards.” Is this a compliment? Is he saying this as a newsflash, as if it is unknown that gay people all over this planet have “standards?” And why are your “standards” of not living with HIV, “p***y [not] smelling like water” or giving/receiving fellatio in a parking lot the 11th, 12th and 13th commandments?

Best believe, there are some holier than thou queer “saints” who have chimed in celebrating DaBaby’s nonsense, some advocating that we “educate” him. I would like to know why in 2021 we think that people are deserving of grace when doing the most deplorable things. What happened to there being certain lines that just need not be crossed and certain things that should not be done? And why is disparaging harmless people not on that list?

DaBaby, contradictory to his stage name, will turn 30 years old in December. He is a grown man. He and others like him know exactly what they are doing. The voices of support may be loud. But the voices of dissent will be louder, so help me God.

What exactly are we dissenting? Well, I’m just going to call a thing a thing: we are dissenting and dismissing trash performers who not only spew out misinformation but are unapologetic in their misdeeds. When the first point of action to a sleuth of people calling you out for your words and/or actions is to tell them to “shut the f**k up,” you are further revealing yourself as a malignant problem, one that needs to be removed.

The subsequent, much-too-late and disingenuous PR-written apologies are not going to save you. Not this time.

I will shift and say that I am proud to see on my social media feed that most of my friends are both loud in their outrage and are staunch in their subsequent removal of DaBaby from their playlists. On the other hand, I would like to see that removal translated elsewhere. I would love to wake up tomorrow to see that DaBaby has been removed from future touring and performance dates, or that his music streams have plummeted. I want more artists to be financially penalized for the messages they send. Not too long ago, depending on where I lived and worked, I could have been fired from my job as a teacher because I’m gay. There is no reason why certain people get a pass. However, I will not hold my breath because it is the end of July — the month of performative pride, solidarity and support has been over for a while now. 

This is the message that queer people, people living with HIV and [Black] women consistently receive: we are disposable, seen as nothing more than the subject and brunt of everybody else’s jokes, storylines and tyrannical histrionics. It is damned time that “the powers that be” put their money where their mouth is (since fellatio has been brought up already).

Stop supporting and giving platforms to these trash-ass individuals who serve no other purpose than to cause chaos in the name of “entertainment.” If we want to discuss protecting children, how about removing problem "faves" from their view. Alternatively, they will continue operating in silence and send the message that situations like DaBaby’s antics are entertaining to you.