Pokemon: Detective Pikachu star Justice Smith confirmed that he is queer and currently dating Queen Sugar star Nicholas Ashe.
This revelation occurred after Smith and Ashe attended a Black Lives Matter rally together in New Orleans, with Smith posting a picture of the event on his Instagram page. The post reads: “[Nicholas Ashe] 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.”
Smith’s post calls for intersectionality within the BLM community, claiming that the movement has been focused on cisgender, heterosexual black men for so long. He does this by invoking the name of Tony McDade, a black trans man who was shot by a Tallahassee police officer on May 27, 2020. While George Floyd’s name has been front and center throughout the BLM protests, Tony McDade’s has barely been acknowledged at all.
“You are trying to push yourself through the door of a system designed against you, and then shut the door behind you,” Smith said to his fellow protesters. “It is in our conditioning to get as close to whiteness, straightness, maleness as we can because that’s where the power is.”
To emphasize his point, Smith has added various calls to action to his Instagram story, showing how to help the families of McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, James Scurlock, David McAtee, and Breonna Taylor, all of whom have lost their lives during this time of protest.