LGBTQ Celebrities Speak Out Against Surge of Anti-Asian Violence

"It is a hate crime. I don't know why that's even a question."

LGBTQ celebrities and activists are using their platforms to condemn the recent tide of anti-Asian violence across the United States.

In the wake of this week's deadly shooting at an Asian-owned spa in Atlanta, Georgia — which claimed the lives of eight people, most of whom were Asian women — the conversation about racist rhetoric and violence against the Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community is back and louder than ever.

Out actress and comedian Margaret Cho addressed the fatal shooting directly in an emotional video uploaded to Twitter on Wednesday (March 17). "I'm so angry and full of grief because of what happened yesterday," Cho said, blinking away tears. "I lived in Atlanta for seven years, and I just don't understand. And it is a hate crime. When you kill eight Asian women, it is a hate crime. I don't know why that's even a question."

Other LGBTQ celebrities and activists, AAPI and non-AAPI alike, chimed in too:

RuPaul's Drag Race Season 12 alum Rock M. Sakura responded by coming out as a former sex worker. That work helped fund her drag, she explained in an emotional Twitter thread.

"What happened last night was exactly what it looks like: a hate crime against Asian people," Rock tweeted on Wednesday. "I want everyone to have perspective, that could easily have been me, it could easily have been people you care about and love."

Anti-Asian animus isn't new, but it was intensified by the rhetoric of former President Donald Trump, who repeatedly used racist and inaccurate language to refer to the novel coronavirus.

"The legacy of Donald's hate," tweeted openly gay Star Trek icon George Takei.

The deadly shooting in Atlanta isn't the only recent instance of hate-motivated violence against the AAPI community, either. As CBS News reported earlier this month, hate crimes against Asian-Americans have increased dramatically amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020 alone, more than 3,800 Asian-Americans reported hate-motivated incidents, according to Stop AAPI Hate.

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