Celebrating J. August Richards’ Inviting In & Diversity In Representation on NBC’s Council of Dads
NEW YORK—In response to J. August Richards’ Instagram Live segment where he said that he was a gay man, and to news that he would be portraying a gay man in NBC’s new show, Council of Dads, David Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition released the following statement:
“Representation matters, and in today’s global society, diversity in representation that reflects the plurality of our reality is paramount. Too many people think that homophobia is natural, rather than appreciating that as long as there have been people there have been beautifully diverse expressions of love. The lack of representations of queer love on television and in the media, more generally, are important because they provide windows into worlds that for some may be foreign or unexplored and for others they provide mirrors that reflect back the best parts of who we are and how we show up in the world — parts of ourselves that we are too often told to hide or neglect.
“There are not nearly enough examples of Black queer people loving themselves and being loved by other Black queer people. Among other things, this can compound mental health challenges young LGBTQ+ people experience of feeling they’re the only one, ever in the history of the world, to live and find love alone. It is for all of these reasons, and many more, that we applaud the J. August Richards for inviting us all in and for NBC’s Council of Dads for displaying love between two same gender loving Black men when few others are doing so.
“We applaud J. August Richards for making space for more people to think about, talk about, and make space for those of us who are both Black and same gender loving or LGBTQIA+. We also applaud everyone involved with Council of Dads for extending the foundation that has been established by similar groundbreaking efforts to showcase Black queer love.”