Hey James.

I think you were feeling very reactive read this piece; most of your response was targeted at a joke I wrote in the first paragraph. Yes a joke. Look up the Mariah Carey “I don’t know her” gif, it’s a real treat. Of course I don’t force my loved ones to watch all the same programs as me. That would be very silly.

As for “eating my own” I have to say, criticism is healthy. It’s the only way we grow. I don’t want to be part of a community that refuses to critique it’s own, because that’s a community unwilling to grow. I’m curious as to whether you were able to really read my article; which was largely complimentary of Jamil. From her prior activism to her hair, for petes sake.

I agree that coming out is deeply personal. However, if you are claiming a position of power and infuence within a community I believe you owe them transparency. My critique is as simple as that. At worst I accuse Jamil of a lack of self awareness that is uncharacteristic, and which could prove harmful. I like to think that if Jameela herself stumbled onto the piece she would view the criticism as balanced and perhaps even helpful.

I really hope that you do finish the article. I hope you’ll see that I’m coming from a place of love. Love for the impoverished trans women of color who have upheld Ball culture for decades, over whom Jamil has extreme privilege, and love Jamil herself, who is growing. As we all are.

Byleighgreen.com | Freelance Editor | Essayist | Culture Analyst | Pronouns: she/they

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