It’s always interesting how celebrities are first to turn on the people who support them and their craft. In this case, that can be said for Brooklyn-based rapper Lil Mama, who noted last week that she was starting a “heterosexual rights movement,” something to stop the “bullying” of heterosexual artist and people.
In a post on Instagram riddled with transphobic undertones, the entertainer shared that she felt that she needed to protect herself and the heterosexual community from being bullied by those who identify as LGBTQ+.
In a series of posts she shared, “Y’all fight so hard to be respected and SOME of you, NOT ALL, get a kick out bullying people for having an option, how they dress, how their hair and or makeup looks, how much money they have, etc.” She went on to say that there are heterosexual people that are afraid to give their honest opinion about the LGBTQ+ community because often, said opinions are taken out of context.
While Lil Mama may have noted that she is just trying to simply, “speak her truth,” the truth is that she has had a long standing history of saying things that are rooted in transphobia. From her comments about Zaya Wade to a comment that she made in 2009 on America’s Next Best Dance Crew, her so-called “movement” is nothing more than anti-trans rhetoric.
The real issue here is privilege and the ways Lil Mama is seeking to uphold it.
The fact of the matter is that heterosexual people don’t need a movement when they have the entire world working in their favor. While she and some other artists might have to deal with being heckled or critiqued by LGBTQ+ people, she will never have to endure the fear or oppression that Black trans women face on a daily basis.
What’s frustrating about this is how she is using the idea of “having loved ones from the LGBTQ+ community” as a means to garner sympathy points and support. Saying you have a family member from the community does not negate your transphobic and anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric – in the same way having a Black family member doesn’t keep you from being racist.
More, it’s interesting how celebrities like Lil Mama forget that the system of oppression that is working to silence the voices of cis-gender Black women is in fact the same system used to silence and eradicate Black trans people. All oppression is connected and often, it’s at the expense of LGBTQ+ people.
Point blank: You can’t say that you support a community and continue to do things that perpetuate harm. Punching down on a group of people in order for you to stay up (or relevant) isn’t a good look and won’t save you, or your career, at the end of the day.
Dr. Jonathan P. Higgins is an educator, speaker, freelance journalist, thought leader and critic who examines the intersections of identity, gender, race and media. Named Business Equality Magazine’s “Top 40 LGBTQ People Under 40”, their work has been featured on sites like NBC News, VICE, MTV News, Essence, Out Magazine, DailyXtra and more. They hold a Doctorate in Leadership for Educational Justice and write regularly about the liberation of queer people of color.