In 2013, the up-and-coming rapper Yung Miami used her 140 characters on Twitter to write something that, five years later, she would have to use thousands more to explain.

Miami, of the acclaimed Floridian rap-duo City Girls, came to prominence in Drake’s 'In My Feelings' music video. She and the other half of the duo, JT, hit the ground running with guest appearances, interviews and a die-hard fan base due to songs such as 'Take Your Man' and 'Tighten Up'. It’s the kind of fame that many can only dream about.

However, in August of 2018, tweets from 2013 resurfaced of her making highly homophobic comments about her having the prospect of a gay son. In the tweets, she stated that she would physically beat her son if she saw any hint of “gay shit”.

She wrote and published an apology letter on August 29, 2018 on her Instagram. In her letter, she not only apologized for her homophobic comments but she also apologized for her derogatory tweets toward people of Haitian descent in 2011. Those comments were colorist in nature, calling Haitians “Black, Ugly and Cheesy”. The colorism displayed toward Haitian people in her comments is horrifying and detrimental and shows the need for accountability from other Black Americans for the ethnocentrism that is perpetuated toward other black people in the African diaspora.

In yet another disappointment, shortly after her apology, she went onto the Breakfast Club on Power 105.1 FM, not to apologize to her fans, LGBTQ black people who I saw bumping her music before anyone else, but to double down on her comments that alienate the very basis of her very diverse fan-base.

Like Yung Miami, I too am Black American. But, apparently unlike her, I am also very, very queer.

I also love hip hop, with a deep, unyielding passion. But I have to hold the genre accountable situations like this, for not only perpetuating standards of homophobia, transphobia and queer-phobia but to a more dangerous extent, normalizing it. The word “Faggot” is thrown around like a spice in certain rhymes. Jokes about assaulting lesbians and gay men are seen as pinnacle humor and the hate demonstrated toward trans women is horrifying at best.

This is not to say that there are not a variety of wonderful queer black artists who are out here putting in work, creating masterpieces and getting the recognition that they deserve. Rappers like Big Freedia and Kevin Abstract and singers like the incomparable Frank Ocean are fighting and succeeding every day to get their art recognized for the unfiltered dopeness that it is.

And yet, for every Frank Ocean, Kevin Abstract or Big Freedia, there are thousands more who are, knowingly and flippantly, slamming doors in their faces. And it’s wrong, it’s hurtful, and it’s disrespectful. But there’s always more to the story. What happens when it’s an artist we love, whose music has gotten up through a variety of struggles, that is spewing hatred? How do you cancel an artist whose music you love?

I’d like to be a cancel queen. But to be honest, as someone who is black, queer, and loves hip hop, it is difficult for me to cancel certain artists. And yet, at the same time as the City Girls scandal, a similar controversy was just breaking that would put me face-to-face with this issue when the artist Doja Cat was called out for using “faggot” in her previous tweets.

I have listened to Doja Cat since 2014, when I was in my sophomore year of college. I found her untouchable flow, unapologetic femininity, hypnotizing beats and general aesthetic to be incredible. I truly appreciated her as an artist, as a rapper and as a woman that I could admire.

After the success of her first EP Purr! in 2013 and the release of her full-length album Amala in 2018, she did the unthinkable for an upcoming artist and broke the internet.

Not literally, but there was not a day in the late summer of 2018 that I did not hear a reference to or a lyric from her song “Moo!”, a gag song about cows that later briefly became an unofficial anthem of the body-positive movement. She created this song in her bedroom, on Instagram live, with a homemade music video that she filmed in front of a homemade green screen with multiple gifs of cows, women from different anime and dancing burgers.

“Finally,” I thought, “finally”. This goofy, soft, powerful woman began getting the recognition that I had hoped that she would receive. And truly, I was very happy for her.

And shortly before Yung Miami issued her apology, Doja Cat was revealed to have used homophobic slurs in the past on her social media. Instead of apologizing immediately, Doja also doubled down in a clearly knee-jerk response. She stated that not only had she used the slurs multiple times in social media, but that she had actively called people “faggot” in high school.

When I heard this news, I paused for a second and considered a few things. I had been made fun of for my ambiguous sexuality in high school. I had fallen in love with a girl for the first time when I was in high school. I felt isolated and wrong for being a girl who liked other girls. I was told that I had to prove my sexuality by dating other women when I was scared to even consider if they liked me back.

Truthfully, with the knowledge of her actions, I had to ask myself if I met Doja, what would I be to her?

A fan, or a faggot?

When I couldn’t answer that question for myself, I knew it was time to cancel her.

Doja did eventually issue an apology but I had seen enough to make my decision.

And this is something that many black LGBTQ folks have to consider on a regular basis. Contrary to cishet people “allowing” cancel culture to become mainstream, LGBTQ people have on a regular basis had to choose between their sexuality and the music and musicians that they support. Black LGBTQ people are no exception, perhaps more so with homophobia, transphobia and queer-phobia so actively perpetuated in hip hop.

Indeed, the discrimination is not just in the individual rappers themselves, it’s perpetuated in the genre as a whole. From Jeru da Damaja talking about making “faggot flambe” in his 1993 classic 'Come Clean' to Lil Kim stating "Nah I ain’t gay, this ain’t no lesbo flow” on the 1995 Junior Mafia track 'Get Money', to Offset from Migos stating that he does not “vibe with queers”, LGBTQ discrimination has been normalized in modern hip hop.

There is no one way to cancel an artist. For different people, canceling means different actions. Canceling could be refusing to listen to an artist yourself but vibing to it when it’s played in someone else’s car. Canceling can be refusing to listen to music by a specific artist, refusing to follow their social media, withdrawing all support and then leaving events that play that artist’s music. And all else in between could be considered cancellation. It is indeed a spectrum. Additionally, there is another truth here, in that not all queer black people cancel homophobic/transphobic/queer-phobic hip hop artists.

For many, supporting a black artist or an artist whose music they enjoy is more important than supporting an artist who is nondiscriminatory toward LGBTQ folk. But for myself and many other black queer people, our blackness and queerness are not separate. Would my blackness be complete without my queerness? Would my queerness be complete without my blackness? To me, my answer is no to both. Black LGBTQ folk have had to suffer in silence doubly so alongside the sufferings of their siblings, and then suffer the injustice of sexual discrimination at home. I have seen friends, with black bodies like mine, harmed for their sexuality and who then harmed themselves in turn from rejection by their own people.

And for that reason, I cannot make it a point to enjoy and support the music of those who do not support me. Does this mean that I don’t occasionally bop to 'Cookie Jar' by Doja Cat? No, I am not perfect and that beat is fantastic. But this means that I am listening to her significantly less, I have unfollowed her on social media and, more than anything, I am being mindful now more than ever of what I am consuming, the words I am hearing and reading and how they make me feel about myself.

And many times, those words that come from hip hop, the genre that I love, do not make me feel good about myself and do not validate my existence.

And myself and my black queer siblings have every right to turn those words off.