Detective Pikachu star Justice Smith has come out as queer in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement and Pride month. The actor, who’s also known for his turn in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, shared a post on Instagram yesterday (June 6th) featuring a video taken at a recent BLM protest in New Orleans, along with photos of himself with fellow actor and partner Nicholas Ashe, who Smith describes as his “guiding light.”
In his caption, Smith wrote an impassioned essay about how the Black Lives Matter movement should make sure to include “Black Queer voices” and “black trans people.”
“We chanted ‘Black Trans Lives Matter’ ‘Black Queer Lives Matter’ ‘All Black Lives Matter’. 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,” the actor wrote. “I want to reiterate this sentiment: if your revolution does not include Black Queer voices, it is anti-black. If your revolution is okay with letting black trans people like #TonyMcDade slip through the cracks in order to solely liberate black cishet men, it is anti-black.”
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@nckash and I protested today in New Orleans. We chanted ‘Black Trans Lives Matter’ ‘Black Queer Lives Matter’ ‘All Black Lives Matter’. 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. I want to reiterate this sentiment: if your revolution does not include Black Queer voices, it is anti-black. If your revolution is okay with letting black trans people like #TonyMcDade slip through the cracks in order to solely liberate black cishet men, it is anti-black. You are trying to push yourself through the door of a system designed against you, and then shut the door behind you. It is in our conditioning to get as close to whiteness, straightness, maleness as we can because that’s where the power is. And if we appeal to it, maybe it’ll give us a slice. 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. There is so much tragedy on the timeline these last couple of days so I added some photos of me and Nic to show some #blackboyjoy #blacklove #blackqueerlove ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜 You’ve been my rock and guiding light through all of this and I love you so much. I know that on the other side of this Is change, though the fight is far from over. #justicefortonymcdade #justiceforninapop #justiceforgeorgefloyd #justiceforahmaud #justiceforbreonna #sayhername #defundthepolice #endwhitesupremacy
Smith’s coming out and his important words are receiving praise from many of his Hollywood colleagues in the comments of his post. “Love you. Love this,” wrote Elle Fanning. The Jurassic World franchise’s Bryce Dallas Howard also commented: “”Yes!!!! Love you Justice!!!!!” Pikachu co-star Kathryn Newton, meanwhile, gave another sweet message, writing “I love you so much.”
Elsewhere, British actor Kadiff Kirwan (Fleabag) echoed Smith’s statement, saying: “Now is the time to speak up. We as the black queer community have always been here and we ain’t going nowhere period! So much love to you Justice.” Others leaving positive messages included Samantha Ware (Glee), Giullian Yao Gioiello (Scream) and Katherine Langford (Knives Out).
Justice Smith is set to reprise his role as Franklin Webb for Jurassic World: Dominion, which had its production halted by the pandemic. A Detective Pikachu sequel is in the early stages of development as well, but we don’t know much about it just yet. Presumably, though, we can expect Smith to be back as Tim Goodman.
In any case, his star was already rising and now he’s gaining extra support from the LGBT community and from anyone impressed by his much-needed words.