Watch: Young Conservative Gets Shaming History Lesson from Gay Elder

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday June 9, 2021

(on left) Duff (@tobyduff); (on right) John S. Blake (@blackfluidpoet/TikTok)
(on left) Duff (@tobyduff); (on right) John S. Blake (@blackfluidpoet/TikTok)  (Source:Screencap/John S. Blake/@blackfluidpoet/TikTok)

A young gay conservative on TikTok, known as Duff (@tobyduff) on the platform, declared he doesn't understand why Pride Month is "a thing." Well, a gay elder on TikTok, who identifies as Black, responded and has since gone viral, Daily Dot reports.

As Daily Dot recounted, Duff said he didn't know why Pride Month was "a thing," insisting that "instead of Pride Month, we should have a day — if that."


##stitch with @tobyduff ##pridemonth ##foryoupage ##foryou ##fyp ##PerfectAsWeAre ? original sound - John S Blake

Fellow TikTok creator John S. Blake — who goes by @blackfluidpoet and has more than 360,000 followers on the platform — took the time to explain.

"Blake began his response by lighting a cigarette, taking a deep puff and laying out a stack of LGBTQ-related books," The Daily Dot article said. "The stack included 'Sister Outsider' by Audre Lorde; 'Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements' by Charlene A. Carruthers; 'Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Street' by Feminista Jones and more."

After laying the books out one after the other, Blake lived up to his TikTok handle of "blackfluidpoet" by answering Duff in a concise and direct manner: "Because you don't know the history or choose to ignore it."

Blake, in recalling the '80s, eloquently laid out some LGBTQ history for Duff and summarized the sacrifices and injustices that Duff's queer forebears had endured.

Noting that the U.S. government had been "dragging its ass about AIDS," Blake explained that "many Americans had to come out in order for the country to recognize just how many people in this country were actually queer.

"They came out and lost their jobs," Blake continued. "They came out and lost their families. They came out and lost their homes."

He concluded: "You weren't here for the bashings and the beatings. You wouldn't even be making a video if it wasn't for them."

The exchange instantly went viral, drawing Blake praise across various social media platforms.

"Soon as he lit that cigarette I knew he was about to school his ass," one user tweeted.

Others chimed in as well:

Yet, when a TikTok user commented that Duff didn't get it because "He's not a gay man. He's transgender and in deep denial," Blake interceded.

"Hmm-mm, we don't do that here," Blake said, shaking his head.

"Trans or cis, he identifies as a man," Blake said, adding that identifying as a man and being attracted to other men "makes him gay, and I will fight all the way to the front lines through bullets and blades for him to have that right. I will also fight for his right to be a conservative, because that is what freedom means."

Blake went on to say that knowing the specifics of LGBTQ history was less important than the progress that earlier generations fought for and achieved.

"Because the one thing I can acknowledge is how freely he got on social media and said, 'As a gay man,' " Blake said. "Do you know how long we've been waiting for that kind of freedom?"


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Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.