Opinion: Why Marlon Wayans' Support for the LGBTQ+ Community is Crucial Right Now

In a powerful show of support, the actor/comic used his platform to celebrate Pride and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community while exemplifying unconditional love and acceptance for his transgender child.

I appreciate people like Marlon Wayans, who, despite the rampant stupidity and vitriol flooding the internet, choose to reach out to a community needing allyship.

In a recent Instagram post, the actor-comedian, whose most recent special is "Good Grief" on Amazon Prime, wrote: “Happy Pride to all my LGBTQ+ peoples. I did a photo shoot with the great photographer @parrish_lewis. Dope pic. P.S. I’m STRAIGHT… well, according to my child, CISGENDER male. I just love and support my peoples.”

Last November, Marlon shared in an interview with The Breakfast Club that his eldest child, Kai, is trans and how, as a parent, he went from “ignorance and denial to complete unconditional love and acceptance.”

"I think there's a lot of parents out there that need to have that message,” he added.

In a more recent interview with the New York Times, he said of his initial lack of support: “I was that guy, and I’m ashamed to say it, because in my eyes I was protecting my child. Not understanding that all I was doing was creating distance, and that’s not fair to them. Who am I to stand in this person’s way and tell them what’s right for their life? I’m a parent, and the only thing I can do as a parent is be an example — to love my child and hope that other parents do the same.”

Marlon’s initial post extends his efforts to support his child, and in doing so, it is likely inspiring many other people who have yet to receive this kind of acceptance from their parents. Although most users left supportive comments under the post, there was a noticeable pushback, too. And no matter what corner of the internet one turned, there was a “debate” underneath every post related to Marlon’s shoot. 

In recent years, there’s been an entire movement designed to keep mention of queer and trans people out of schools as if we are all inherently indecent people. There has also been a rise in anti-LGBTQ violence. The violence is especially bad for trans people – reaching “epidemic” levels amid calls for the declaration of a public health emergency – at the same time, the CDC says there is a sharp rise in young Americans identifying as trans

Now more than ever, queer and trans people – particularly youth – need public figures to stand beside them rather than condemn them.

So it means something when someone like Marlon Wayans posts like this, and it means even more that he continues to do the right thing when met with opposition.

"Yeah and just for the HATE MONGERS … I’m posting ANOTHER," he wrote in a separate post caption. "As a father of a child in the LGBTQ+ community I show my support. Zero f*** what people think. If I lost you… GOOD! Your hateful a**never loved me in the first place. How can you love anyone when you’re too busy judging. Some of y’all funny. I’m a troll. I’ll post all day."

When noted that he’s lost some followers as a result of his posts, he wrote on Twitter: “I hope i lose EVERY FOLLOWER that is ignorant, smal and full of hate. I don’t f**k with that type of energy. Let’s just keep 100. I don’t fuck with you so don’t fuck with me. Respects #bye”

For every follower Marlon loses, he’s likely to gain one or two more for his efforts. 

I wish none of this had to matter so much, but there is an increasingly hostile climate towards queer and trans people, and it helps when straight men like Marlon Wayans signal to folks that being queer or trans is inherently wrong or contagious. 

Now, I will say that as much as I enjoy the Wayans family when it comes to their representation of queer people, I’m not as generous as others. Still, Marlon’s gesture in these posts is gracious, and his continued vocal support of his son is impactful and instructive. He’s showing what a good, loving parent looks like and how actual, open-minded, decent people behave. 

 Michael Arceneaux is the New York Times bestselling author of "I Can’t Date Jesus," "I Don’t Want To Die Poor," and the forthcoming "I Finally Bought Some Jordans."

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