Demi Lovato has torn into DaBaby for his “disturbing” rant about HIV and gay men, saying it shows the importance of LGBT+ education.
In a five-part Instagram post published Wednesday (28 July), the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer skewered the rapper for saying that people living with HIV “die in two, three weeks” before knocking queer folk for “sucking d**k in the parking lot”.
Lovato, who came out as non-binary in May, described DaBaby’s Rolling Loud music festival rant as “disturbing, stigmatising [and] homophobic”.
“The comments – which have now reached millions of people – centre around the trope that queer men are promiscuous, dirty and disease-ridden,” they said.
“HIV is not a ‘gay disease’,” Lovato continued. “For decades, people have used the association between gay men and HIV/AIDS as an excuse to perpetuate harmful, painful and false narratives about queer people.”
Lovato brought attention to the fact that 23 per cent of HIV diagnoses in the US are heterosexual people, per data from the Department of Health and Human Services.
In spewing such stigma, Lovato said, DaBaby is stoking further fear and anxiety around the virus, compounding how one in 10 Americans living with HIV don’t even realise it.
“We need queer history taught in school,” they continued. “We need HIV education taught in schools. We need to crush the stigma around what HIV/AIDS is and what it and isn’t.
“But we aren’t going to be able to as long as straight people think it has nothing to do with them,” they concluded.
DaBaby’s homophobic rant leaves Dua Lipa ‘surprised and horrified’
Lovato joined a growing chorus of celebrities to have publicly condemned DaBaby
Dua Lipa issued a scathing takedown of her former collaborator on social media.
“I’m surprised and horrified at DaBaby’s comments,” Lipa, who worked with DaBaby for a 2020 remix of “Levitating”, wrote on Instagram.
“I really don’t recognise this as the person I worked with. I know my fans know where my heart lies and that I stand 100 per cent with the LGBTQ community.
DaBaby has addressed criticism against his homophobic rant. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
“We need to come together to fight the stigma and ignorance around HIV/AIDS.”
British sexual health charity the Terrence Higgins Trust, dubbed DaBaby’s outburst as “unacceptable”.
“It’s wrong for people living with HIV to be made to feel lesser or excluded because of their diagnosis – it should be unacceptable in the musical industry and in society at large,” Richard Angell, campaigns director at the Terrence Higgins Trust, told PinkNews.
“Comments like DaBaby’s perpetuate HIV-related stigma and discrimination, as well as spreading misinformation about HIV. You can now live a long, healthy life with HIV thanks to medical progress when you’re diagnosed and accessing treatment.
“That’s why it’s important to challenge anything that deters people from testing and learning the facts about HIV.”