LGBTQ+ celebrities rushed to the streets this weekend to protest the death of George Floyd by the now Minneapolis policeman and the unceasing police brutality and systemic racism this nation has perpetuated for centuries.
Pose star Indya Moore was on the scene in Chicago. Like many, Moore has been shaken by the recent high-profile murders of Black people by police, from Floyd to Florida's Tony McDade, a Black trans man (as well as the killing of Ahmaud Aubrey, a Black Georgia man hunted down by two white men). Moore's Twitter and Instagram feeds lit up the past week, with calls for justice for Floyd, McDade, and all Black victims of violence.
In an Instagram video on Friday, Moore apologized for posting a flyer of a protest in Oakland, saying they don't know the organizers and warned people to not attend protests they're not familiar with. "It's not safe to attend any protests without knowing who's organizing it at this time unfortunately. We're hearing stories of scenarios with police, white supremacists, white people who are creating this faux protests to cause more harm to Black folks," Moore said.
Thank you for making me aware this is happening. Moving forward now that I know protests are being staged by white supremacists I will make sure I keep YOU safe by sourcing the protest organizers and making sure they are legitimate organizations before I Share these events. Please be safe. Unfortunately I cannot join you all physically at this time during protests however I will be looking for more ways to be involved and support those of you on the ground and I will be rallying my colleagues in corporate to support us as well, surprisingly we have support in places I never knew possible.
The activist and cover star also implored the fashion industry to take a stand against racism and police violence. Moore also used their clout to help bail out protesters detained by Chicago police. Moore is urging Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx to drop charges against Malcom London, a community organizer who Moore says "is being falsely accused of a felony after he was brutalized by CPD and hospitalized."
London's freedom was also advocated for by Mj Rodriguez, Moore's Pose co-star as well as Janet Mock who is instrumental in the show. Rodriguez protested in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey, clad in a black face mask. "I Peacefully Protested Today in my Home Town Newark aka Brick City," Rodriguez tweeted. "Why? Because my life is always in jeopardy Mentally and Physically no matter my Celebrity status! FOR CHANGE... teach our babies to LOVE. See my Black, Rican, Melanin, TRANS Life!!!!! THEN WE CAN TALK!"
Journalist and activist Keith Boykin was not far from Rodriguez, documenting the protests in Manhattan, specifically Harlem. The CNN contributor, former aide to President Clinton, published author, and former head of the National Black Justice Coalition was arrested with others, for charges he says are completely bogus.
Boykin was photographing the protest as people made their way to the West Side Highway. Even after identifying himself as a member of the press, Boykin was arrested, handcuffed with zipper ties that left bruises, and detained for six hours with no social distancing. Boykin was never read his Miranda rights or informed he was being accused of any serious crime. Regardless, Boykin was issued a summons to appear in court.
Boykin later recounted the harrowing experience to Don Lemon.
Pop star Halsey was also standing with protesters. The bisexual artist was in Santa Monica, California, the beach city that hugs Los Angeles, and was present when police fired rubber bullets and gassed the crowd; the officers were unprovoked, Halsey says. The musician was hit with both a rubber bullet and shrapnel, she reports.
Halsey says she was insulated from major injury because of her heavy clothing; others were not so lucky.
Also in California, Tessa Thompson took to the streets of West Hollywood. According to her, the protests were "entirely peaceful" until police arrived and escalated it.