Laverne Cox deftly explains why DaBaby’s homophobia is ‘inextricably linked’ to toxic transphobia

DaBaby and Laverne Cox posing for photographs

Laverne Cox has said DaBaby’s comments are a clear example of “the intersectional links between homophobia, transphobia and misogyny”.

The Promising Young Woman star reflected on the rapper’s controversial comments about gay people and those living with HIV on Instagram on Thursday (29 July).

Laverne Cox did not name DaBaby in her video, but said she was referencing “a famous musical artist” who made “what many folks thought were homophobic comments and stigmatising comments about people living with HIV”.

Cox said the widely-reported upon comments reminded her of a recent conversation she had with forensic psychologist Karen Franklin about misogyny.

Franklin told Cox on a recent episode of her podcast that cisgender men sexually assault trans and cis women for exactly the same reasons. “The victim just needed to represent the feminine in the mind of the perpetrator,” Cox explained.

“And so what that reminded me of is something I’ve always intrinsically known – it’s that the relationship between homophobia, transphobia and misogyny are inextricably linked. 

“If we look at the incident with the artist that I won’t name, but I think we all know who I’m talking about, in the same performance where he made anti-gay statements, statements against people living with HIV, there was also misogyny,” Cox said.

“There were also comments about women’s body parts, and he brought out a man who is accused of assaulting a woman. 

“Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but in the same performance where this musical artist spewed deeply troubling homophobic and anti-HIV comments, there was also the misogyny of the language he used around women’s body parts and him standing by someone accused – not convicted of – shooting a Black woman. 

“So we have the intersection of homophobia, misogyny and misogynoir in that.”


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Cox urged people to think critically about DaBaby’s comments “in an intersectional way”, adding that people who make homophobic or transphobic remarks are almost always misogynists too.

She also questioned how society raises male-identified children, saying DaBaby’s comments should serve as a vital reminder of the need for change. 

“This historical moment is an opportunity for us to begin to think differently about masculinity, how we allow masculinity to manifest itself. 

She continued: “For me, it’s not about cancelling anyone or being mean or hateful to anyone, I want to always come from a place of love,” adding that she wants people to think about how they can be better to themselves and others.

Elton John slammed DaBaby for spreading ‘HIV misinformation’

The rapper has faced a wave of condemnation in recent days after he made shocking comments about HIV, gay people and women on stage at the Rolling Loud Festival in Miami, Florida.

Speaking to the audience, DaBaby suggested that HIV can kill people within two or three weeks of transmission – a claim that is incorrect and stigmatising to those living with the virus. 

Dua Lipa, who duetted with the rapper on a remix of her song “Levitating”, has condemned his comments, as have countless other high-profile figures.

Elton John joined the fray on Wednesday (28 July) – writing on Instagram, the singer criticised DaBaby for spreading dangerous misinformation about HIV. 

“We’ve been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show,” the Elton John AIDS Foundation wrote on Instagram. 

“This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic.”

John continued: “HIV has affected over 70 million people globally: men, women, children and the most vulnerable in our communities.

“In America, a gay Black man has a 50 per cent lifetime chance of contracting HIV. Stigma and shame around HIV and homosexuality is a huge driver of this vulnerability. We need to break down the myths and judgements and not fuel these.” 

Instead of apologising for his comments, DaBaby has repeatedly doubled down. He branded the backlash “a weak ass internet issue” on Instagram, adding: “I say if you don’t got AIDS put a cellphone light up, I say if you ain’t suck d**k in the parking lot put your cellphone lights up so I can drop my next song.”

“I wasn’t going on a rant, that’s called a call to action, that’s what that’s called, cause I’m a live performer, I’m the best live performer… you interact with your fans, you get what I’m saying.

“All the lights went up, gay or straight, you want to know why? Cause even my gay fans don’t got f**king AIDS, stupid ass n****s. They don’t got AIDS, my gay fans, they take care of themselves, they ain’t no nasty gay n****s, they ain’t no junkees.”

On Thursday (29 July), DaBaby dropped a music video for a new song that pushes harmful stereotypes about HIV and AIDS, proving that he still hasn’t gotten the message.