National LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS organizations call for educational meeting with DaBaby in open letter
The rapper is facing a backlash including canceled concerts after his recent comments on the LGBTQ+ community
As the backlash against DaBaby continues to make headlines, several national LGBTQ and HIV-focused organizations have banded together to release an open letter to the rapper offering to educate him on the impact of his recent homophobic remarks.
Wednesday, 11 organizations, including notable groups like GLAAD and the Black AIDS Institute, sent a letter requesting a private meeting with the Charlotte-born entertainer about his uninformed views regarding HIV. It is their hope that instead of canceling the DaBaby, this could instead be used as a teachable moment.
“We heard your inaccurate and harmful comments at Rolling Loud and have read your Instagram apology,” began the letter. “However, at a time when HIV continues to disproportionately impact Black Americans and queer and transgender people of color, a dialogue is critical. We must address the miseducation about HIV, expressed in your comments, and the impact it has on various communities.”
“2021 marks the 40th year of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the greatest obstacles in our work to end HIV are the compounded stigmas attached to anti-Blackness, living with HIV, misogyny, and anti-LGBTQ attitudes and stereotypes, all of which are fueled by misinformation,” the group continued.
“It’s fear and stigma that keep people, particularly Black Americans, from accessing HIV prevention or care that White Americans have historically and continue to access more easily. We believe that you now have an opportunity to not just move past this unfortunate incident, but to use your platform and celebrity to heal not harm.”
But then the letter turns hopeful, outlining how this incident can be used to heal those who may have felt stigmatized by the rapper’s words.
“Music artists have historically led the way to lift up understanding of HIV and accelerated LGBTQ acceptance. Several artists and platforms have spoken up against you,” they noted. “While we appreciate their stand, we also invite them to take action and to do their part to end HIV by supporting organizations like ours serving people who are Black, LGBTQ and/or living with HIV.”
“We believe that anyone can be an HIV advocate by amplifying: how there is medication (PrEP) that can prevent people from getting HIV with one pill a day, how routine treatment stops the virus from being passed on by people living with HIV, how people receiving HIV care can survive and thrive while living with it, and how open and empathetic conversations eliminate stigma.”
“You can be a powerful and influential voice, especially across your home base in the South, where the Black community’s needs are notoriously under-represented across every public spectrum. We encourage you to share this information with your fans and followers, and become an agent of truth and change.”
“As leaders of organizations directly serving Black, LGBTQ, and HIV+ communities, we invite you to a private, off-the-record, virtual discussion with us,” the message concluded. “You stated you now understand how and why your comments were damaging. An open conversation holds the potential for you to now create meaningful impact by transforming from an adversary to an advocate.”
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