Needless to say that we were deeply hurt and saddened by DaBaby's comments following his performance at Rolling Loud in Miami earlier this month. Not only did they make him sound ignorant and arrogant, they just proved to us that unfortunately the stigmas around HIV and being gay are still so prevalent even in the 21st century.
His downright stupid comments made us realize that it is our responsibility, as members of the LGBTQ community to stand up in solidarity and raise awareness about a couple of things. Firstly, as we all know HIV is a virus and AIDS is a disease that is caused by HIV. It can happen to anyone - not only gay men and most people with HIV live long and healthy lives on treatment. So no DaBaby “it won't kill you in 2-3 weeks”.
Secondly, most people are riddled with the preconceived notion that all gay men are flamboyant and have a “feminine” appearance. Gay men come in all shapes and sizes and encompass those with masculine and feminine traits alike. At Adonis, this is a stereotype that we are deeply committed to breaking, and we try to do this through our plus size models (see our pride collection) , inclusive sizing and regularly showing off our diverse group of customers on our social media accounts - Instagram and Twitter.
Our underwear is designed to make all men feel sexy and confident, whether they are gay, plus size, masculine or feminine.
Lastly, most people unfortunately still think that your profession is tied to your sexual orientation: “if you’re a makeup artist, you must be gay”. That is not true at all. You could be a makeup artist if you are gay, straight or bi-sexual. Choosing professions has nothing to do with your sexual orientation. We have a beautiful combination of gay and straight customers who have a variety of professions. Like gay men who have regular 9-5 jobs in investment banks and fin-tech companies or straight men who take pride in being hairstylists, makeup artists and designers.
Watch Kanye West 2005 Interview about homophobia
But yes, it is true that homophobia and the negative connotations associated with being gay drive many away from exploring opportunities and professions that they would like to. So it is our responsibility, and yours, as members of the LGBTQ community to work tirelessly to break these preconceived notions, stigmas and debilitating stereotypes. Because, yes, DaBaby’s comments may have come to the limelight because he is a rapper, and we had celebrities like Demi Lovato, Dua Lipa, Madonna and Elton John standing up to condemn them. But there are several similar comments that are made by ignorant, homophobic people almost daily that go unnoticed and result in ridicule and violence for many who are too afraid to stand up.
And we couldn’t help but point out that sadly we rarely hear the voices of heterosexual, black women who claim to be so invested and emotionally tied to their people. Where were your favorite female rap artists when these conversations were flooding our social media feeds? We heard nothing from them, in spite of their huge following and loyal fan base of black, gay men which gives them the power to speak directly to those who were so deeply hurt and affected.
At the end of the day, it is everyone’s job, whether they are gay or straight, white or black to stand up and try to change these crippling societal perceptions. Because remaining silent only makes it easier to perpetuate these stereotypes. So we hope you see this as a wake up call to do your part — use your voice to break stereotypes, fight homophobia, and to educate those around you. We’re all in this together because #lovealwayswins.