dear real housewives of atlanta,
i’m moving on. it’s not me, it’s you. for eight years, i’ve rode hard for you, picking my favorite cast members and becoming intimately involved in their triumphs, failures, defeats and memorable reads. while i gave up on most reality television, i still believed in what i thought was your initial premise — that real black women who had careers and families deserved to shine (and act a fool) on tv.
i’ve laughed at nene and kim zolciak’s antics, allowed “who gon check me boo” to serve as an everyday life mantra and cried real tears when phaedra dropped aiden off for his first day of school. i was a fan. but i can’t keep excusing your blatant transphobia and homophobia. it’s not cute, and it’s an indication of how far folks have to go to understand the true meaning of acceptance.
on the finale of the reunion show, kenya’s gossip about kim fields’ husband being gay became a topic of discussion and the response was painful to watch. while kenya unleased the rumor (what’s new?) other cast members chimed in and made jokes about his femininity. it was clear no one took the situation seriously, leading phaedra to claim, “at some point every man on this show has been called gay!” folks laughed while andy cohen, who is openly gay, looked like he wanted to walk out of the room.
here’s what you women do: your biggest damnation is to claim a man affiliated with a member of the cast is gay, all while hosting events during pride festivals, being painted and styled by gay men, proclaiming to have gay friends and appropriating gay vernacular. that’s not acceptance boo — it’s homophobic and one of the reasons hair stylist and fashion queens host miss lawrence left the show. get over your cis and hetero privilege to recognize the harm your comments perpetuate.
nope, you don’t have to throw gay folks a parade, as nene and greg leakes sarcastically recommended last season after she used a gay slur, but as celebrities with huge access and visibility, you do have the responsibility to understand oppression and privilege.
as a queer black woman, your show is no longer a safe space for me. not only have the fights gotten cattier and beefs more dramatic, but the obvious lack of acceptance is painful to watch. in a world where nine trans women have been murdered this year simply for being themselves, including keyonna blakeney who was found dead this week, the stakes are just too high for your national platform to be a source of further marginalization.
deuces real housewives of atlanta. i wish it hadn’t been so real.