by Jessica Lane
August 1, 2017
Photos by Todd Williamson/Getty, Desiree Navarro/WireImage, John Sciulli/Getty
Lil Duval had his moment. Now, it’s Janet Mock‘s turn. Lil Duval appeared on the Breakfast Club, hosted by Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy and Angela Yee, and unfortunately, past guest Janet Mock, became the punchline for a horrible joke. Lil Duval said he would “probably kill” a transgender woman if she didn’t reveal her birth gender before having sex. Janet Mock clapped back in an poignant response called, “Dear Men of ‘The Breakfast Club’: Trans Women Aren’t a Prop, Ploy, or Sexual Predators.”
What do you think of Lil Duval’s response? “Probably killing” someone is, of course, completely outrageous. But, is his anger justified?
Or do you side with Janet Mock and agree that this brand of toxic masculinity has no place in the Black community? Did Lil Duval & Charlemagne Tha God get exactly what they deserved?
For folks not in the loop, let’s summarize this Breakfast Club interview (start at 6:45)…
This all started when DJ Envy posed a hypothetical to Lil Duval. He asked him, what he’d do if he had sex with a woman and then found out she was transgender. Lil Duval went in.
“This might sound messed up, but I don’t care, she dying,” he responded. That’s when Charlemagne Tha God steps in (in between laughs), telling him this would be considered a “hate crime.” So of course, Lil Duval continues.
“I can’t deal with that,” he said. “No, you manipulated me to believe in this thing. My mind, I’m gay now.”
But then it gets worse, DJ Envy held up Mock’s latest book, Surpassing Certainty, to egg on Lil Duval and get him to agree she was “beautiful.”
Lil Duval’s response: “Nope. That n***a doing his thing … ain’t finna get me,” Lil Duval said.
Lil Duval dismissed her intentionally as a grand finale to his joke. It worked, Charlemagne Tha God erupted in laughter. But Janet comes back strong and dropped this epic one-liner on us, “I’ve dealt with the limitations of little insecure men my entire life.”
She goes on to condemn the hosts for using her image and her book as a prop and a punchline for an all-too-familiar joke about the transgender community. “On a black program that often advocates for the safety and lives of black people, its hosts laughed as their guest advocated for the murder of black trans women who are black people, too!,” writes Mock in her Allure piece.
Then she drops knowledge about the unfortunate history of violence against trans women, which The Breakfast Club and Lil Duval played right into:
“It’s this deplorable rhetoric that leads many cis men, desperately clutching their heterosexuality, to yell at, kick, spit on, shoot, burn, stone, and kill trans women of color. It’s something I’ve written about extensively and even explored in my conversation with actress Amiyah Scott, who lost her sister Chyna Gibson when she was shot to death in New Orleans in February. Chyna was the fifth trans woman killed in 2017. There have been at least 15 reported deaths of trans women of color so far this year, according to GLAAD.”
The LGBTQ community and its vigilant allies jumped to Janet Mock’s defense and decimated Lil Duval and Charlemagne on Twitter using the hashtag #TransFolksAreNotAJoke.
Hashtag creator and activist, Raquel Willis
— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) July 31, 2017
Supporter, Terrell J. Starr
— Terrell J. Starr (@Russian_Starr) July 31, 2017
The controversy spilled offline to the MSNBC Politicon panel “Hip Hop And Politics,” where these two women took a stand while shouting “we are not a joke.”
— Ashlee Marie Preston (@AshleeMPreston) July 31, 2017
TELL US: After hearing the facts, what are your thoughts?