Nick Jonas Spoke At The NYC Vigil For Orlando And We’re All Confused As To Why
I, along with hundreds of others, attended the vigil honoring the victims of the Orlando shooting Monday night at the historic Stonewall Inn. There was a collective eye roll amongst the crowd when Nick Jonas was introduced. Why was he there? This is not the time or place to promote yourself in any which way. I can’t help but think it was a means of promotion, being that he released a new album only a few days ago and just appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
At the vigil, there was an energy, very different from what you would experience in a crowded area in New York City during a different time. Everybody was very kind, patient, and polite — nobody was rude when trying to get by in the very crowded area. Strangers offered other strangers tissues and kind words. We all came together.
When the straight, white, male singer was introduced, we as one, were not having it. We weren’t interested in what he had to say. We wanted to hear the names of the victims in the Orlando massacre. You can hear the chants in the video of his speech below. Although this person appreciated Jonas’ speech, most of those in attendance and online were not as pleased.
Jonas is often accused of “queerbaiting,”which JamesMichael Nichols from the Huffington Post breaks down in his piece, “Dear Nick Jonas, There’s A Way To Be A Straight Ally. That Wasn’t It.” Nichols writes:
“For months now, Jonas has engaged in what is colloquially referred to as ‘queerbaiting’ — marketing himself, and his sex appeal, to gay men during the lead up to the release of his new album which came out last Friday.
For perspective, Jonas and his PR team have spent quite a bit of energy heavily marketing the pop star to gay men. Since the breakup of The Jonas Brothers, Jonas has repeatedly appeared at gay nightclubs and made headlines for exposing his body. He claimed ‘I can’t say if I have or haven’t’ experimented sexually with other men, he’s insinuated that he has engaged in gay sex because of a role played on television, he’s been ‘gay and shirtless’ on multiple TV shows, he’s appeared on the cover of Out Magazine alongside an extensive interview, he’s been called ‘The King of Twinks’ by Vice and claimed he watches Mariah Carey on Home Shopping network ‘at least once a week.'”
Neither Nichols or I are accusing Jonas of being insincere with his sentiment. He is an ally, but by being so, that means you don’t take up space where you shouldn’t be. That means you don’t speak at a time where people from the community need and deserve to be at a podium, speaking into a microphone.
The whole event, although emotional and beautiful, was more of a political rally and less of a vigil at times. Yes, we are angry, but we went there first and foremost to mourn.
As a straight ally, what can you do? You can show your support for the LGBTQ community on social media, donate to help the victims, and talk to people about the dangers of homophobia. Nichols explains:
“But please, straight allies, let us have our space. Let us have the grief that is specifically ours. Of course, we welcomed straight people at the vigil, but to listen, not to speak. Let us hold each other, look one another in the eyes and tell each other it’s going to be OK. Because unless you’ve ever had to internalize queer pain, there is really no way for you to know exactly how this feels, or what we need to hear.”
This is Nick Jonas’ most recent tweet, FYI.
I haven’t listened, and I don’t plan on it. Jonas had one tweet about the ordeal, but everything since has been self-promotion.
There was absolutely no mention of how to help or even that it was a hate crime against a particular community. A few hours later, he retweeted this:
His entire Twitter feed has been album promotion since. SMH big time.