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Just last week, “The Breakfast Club” invited Janet Mock to sit down for an interview. During the interview, Mock also faced a lot of crass and crassly worded questions, like Envy asking her if she had the ability to “get wet” during sex. And it was clear that the crew hadn’t done all that much research to prepare for her visit.
Still, even with all of that mess, I would say the conversation was informative. Mock was likely speaking to an audience comprised of people very similar to “The Breakfast Club” hosts, ignorant and curious, and her willingness to endure that tactless questions put a real human story to the word to the transgender identity.
Yet, the very next week when Lil Duval, Charlamagne’s frequent collaborator, appeared on the show, it would seem that the co-hosts didn’t do all that much to advocate on behalf of Mock.
“This might sound messed up but I don’t care. She dying. I can’t deal with that. You manipulated me to believe in this thing, my mind…I can’t…I’m gay now. I’m gay.”
Thankfully, Charlamagne and Angela Yee disagreed with the comment, acknowledging that it would be a hate crime. Angela Yee said that she’s a woman.
What made the situation so much worse, is that during the exchange, DJ Envy used Janet Mock’s book, with her picture on the cover, as a way to keep egging Duval on, remarking on her looks.
Duval kept shaking his head, saying that he couldn’t and looking at Mock’s picture, he said, “That n*gga doing his thing.”
Charlamagne laughing at the “joke” didn’t make things any better. Once he stopped giggling, he suggested that Duval might have already slept with a trans woman having lived in Atlanta.
The whole thing was cringe-worthy and hateful. And what made it worse is that Duval, instead of apologizing for promoting the death of someone doubled down on the comments on his Instagram page.
The point about whether or not someone should disclose their trans identity before engaging in sex is a moot one. Yes, people should be informed about their sexual partners, beforehand. Still, even if a trans woman doesn’t disclose her trans identity, why does this bit of withheld information justify taking her life? Why does having sex with someone who identifies both physically and psychologically as a woman make you gay? But more importantly, why does the thought that you might be gay fill you with such rage that you want to kill someone?
Someone tried to liken the situation of unknowingly sleeping with a trans person to sleeping with someone who has an STD. But the analogy fell short in that an STD can affect the course of the rest of your life, while sleeping with a trans person will not. It just may require you to expand your thoughts on sexuality.
Lil Duval’s comment is particularly heinous in a time when so many Black trans women are dying at the hands of people who think like him. Why, when comedians can makes jokes like this, would trans women feel comfortable disclosing their identity? Who’s to say that sex is the tilting point for someone’s ire? Hell, if a man finds himself attracted to a trans woman and she shares her identity with him, she may still be in danger simply because of the lack of understanding and hate directed toward this community. When will people understand that “jokes” against an already oppressed community not only lack humor, they can encourage and incite more violence?
A part of me hates giving credence to anything Lil Duval has to say. But the point is, people need to learn, even if his ignorant self refuses to, that this type of rhetoric is harmful