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Dear Kim Kardashian, Having Gay Friends Doesn't Excuse Your Homophobia

Less than two weeks ago, Kim Kardashian West and Tyson Beckford feuded over a misogynistic, body-shaming comment from Beckford, as posted by The Shade Room. “Sorry[,] I don’t care for it personally,” he wrote under a picture of Kim on Instagram. “She is not real, doctor fucked up on her right hip.”

Kim clapped back — as anyone would have — reposting the picture with the caption, “Sis[,] we all know why you don’t care for it” she wrote, followed by the teacup, frog, and hand with painted fingernail emoji.  

Quickly, people accused Kim Kardashian of being homophobic. She, of course, used her friendships with gay people to deny those rumors while appearing on an L.A. radio show. “People were sending me stuff on his page, that he keeps going and going and going, and I’m like, ‘Dude, that’s so female lame to me.’ That’s just lame to me, and for anyone to say that I am homophobic for the comment of saying ‘Sis,’ I’m sorry. I’m the least [homophobic person]. All my best friends are gay, and I support the community. I love the community, they love me — that has nothing to do with this,” she said.

I wish that I could trade places with Kim for one hour. This is not about living out my dream of being a wealthy public figure or helping her to live out her dream of being Black; this is to teach the attention-crazed culture vulture that being friends with gay people does not excuse her from being homophobic.

Of course, it’s not going to be easy being Kim Kardashian West. I would have to deal with people hating me because I fetishize powerful Black men and because I benefit from cultures I don’t belong to. That seems a lot easier than dealing with racism and homophobia simply because I’m Black and queer. At least if I was Kim, I could simply choose to not be culturally problematic; I can choose not to wear cornrows, then respond to the criticism by calling it a “fashion trend” then claim that her four-year-old daughter chose them for her. I can choose to not tell Black women how they should feel about her racist friend, Jeffree Star. I can choose to listen to those within the marginalized communities I profit and steal from. I can’t choose to stop being Black and queer.  

If Kim Kardashian traded places with me, she wouldn’t have the comfort of having a security team that walks her to her limousines. That said, she would have to deal with the racism that comes with her Blackness and the homophobia that comes with her queerness all by her lonesome. That’s a pretty fucking scary thing to do, given the likelihood of being a victim of a violent hate crime. And I’m sure that she and the anti-queer assailants have something in common: they both have ‘tons’ of gay friends or relatives; therefore, they can’t be homophobic, right?

Wendell Melton, the father of the late 14-year-old Giovanni Melton, had a gay son. His proximity to his son is why he gunned him down. He would rather have a dead son than a gay son.

Pearl Hernandez, the mother of the late eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez, thought she had a gay son. She and her domestic partner, Isauro Aguirre’s, proximity to Gabriel is why they force-fed him human excrement and tortured him to death. They, too, would rather have a dead son than a gay son.

My father, who is thankfully in prison, promised to choke the life out of me and put a bullet through my head multiple times. He, too, would rather have a dead son than a queer son. But the NYPD snuffed his proximity to me when he went to prison for murdering someone. I got lucky.

Also, my father was a big-time drug dealer. When it came to his money, he did not discriminate who he would sell to. Many of his customers were gay. His domestic partner’s son is gay. He has plenty of gay family members who he claims to love. When they are on his good side, he tolerates their queerness; when they are not, he is their biggest fucking nightmare.

According to Kim’s logic, my father is not a homophobe. Simply saying, “All my best friends are gay” erases my experience with homophobia. She basically took my story, squatted over it, and took a hot, steamy shit on it. She didn’t wipe, either. She pulled up her pants and changed the subject by staging a Twitter war with her sister, Kourtney Kardashian.

Kim, LGBTQ people are hurting, and some are dying. When we’re telling you that your actions are harmful to us, listen to us. Don’t listen to your gay ‘best friends’ who are clearly too enamored of your wealth and power to tell you that you’re hurting them. Furthermore, these people aren’t your friends if they allow you to look stupid — this is what my mother always told me. “Real friends tell you when you look stupid.” Now, I’m not your friend, but I’m going to do you a solid and tell you that you look stupid.

Image via Getty


Arkee E.

Arkee E. is a writer based in the Bronx.

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