Earlier this month, R&B singer Kehlani appeared on The Morning Hustle radio show to promote their new album Blue Water Road. Unfortunately, in what should’ve been an opportunity for the hosts to learn more about the project, it was everything but. From hurling questions about their sexual proclivities to making a mockery out of their preferred pronouns, it was visibly evident that Kehlani was uncomfortable. Taking to social media to express their perspective on it all, the California native confirmed that the interview was indeed “invasive as f***.” Sadly, Kehlani isn’t the only Black, queer artist to have faced such malevolent behavior while simply trying to promote their art.

The obsession with outing people must stop

A few months prior, Daniel Lee Bellomy, who portrays Ezekiel “Zeke” Cross in Power Book II: Ghost was subjected to similar tomfoolery. While appearing on the FlipDaScript podcast, Bellomy was aggressively questioned about his orientation by its hosts in a despicable way. These men continuously bombarded the actor, who upheld a saintly level of grace despite his obvious uncomfortableness.

Recently, let’s not even get into how Joe Budden was interrogated about his sexuality by Math Hoffa on the My Expert Opinion podcast. When did proper interview decorum include this constant need to pester guests about their personal lives? Why is there such an obsession with attempting to “out” folks who may be queer? Not only is it unprofessional, but it’s also just mean-spirited.

It's not okay to pry into people's sexual lives

I know this may be a tough pill to swallow for Black cishet people worldwide, but Black liberation will never be had with exclusionary practices like this continuing to occur. The Black community will never shepherd itself to collective freedom through exclusionary practices at the detriment of Black, queer people. In each of the situations above, the subjects in question weren’t necessarily excluded, but they were to a certain extent.

When celebrities at the height of their career take the time to include your abysmal platform on their promotional trail, it is not okay to be that intrusive. Even if they weren’t celebrities, it still wouldn’t be okay. How difficult is it really to mind the business that pays you?

We need to abolish the idea of "coming out"

I’m not sure if cishet people realize this, but queer people’s sexual activities, orientation, etc. are not anyone’s business but their own. This entitlement to know the ins and outs of what someone prefers or who they prefer can lead to more unwelcome consequences than intended. Many LGBTQ+ individuals are not open about their lifestyles and preferences for numerous reasons, whether it be safety and security or simply not wanting to.

We need to abolish this idea of “coming out” for several reasons, mainly because it’s no one’s business. There are so many dangers associated with living authentically as a queer person. Still, that isn’t considered because we’re expected to sideline our safety in place of someone’s curiosity.

This archaic way of thinking that suggests queer people need to divulge all of who they are to satisfy people’s overly inquisitive minds is exhausting. Whether someone publicly identifies a certain way shouldn’t matter. What’s also worth noting is that this particular style of journalism is encouraged.

Hosting a podcast is not the same as being a journalist

Women like Oprah Winfrey and Tamron Hall didn’t achieve the massive success they have by dedicating entire segments to ridiculing folks or prying into their personal lives. Instead, they created their own dynamic styles of interviewing, born out of credentials and experience. Here’s another hot take — unless you’re Jemele Hill, having a podcast does not make you a journalist. It doesn’t even put you in the kiddie pool, beloved.

Instead of creating these platforms to spew whatever toxic opinions you have under the guise of an interview, try studying from the greats on how to not only conduct one but how not to be a troglodyte attempting to fulfill your kink for humiliation. Until that happens, you will continue to alienate guests who don’t subscribe to the narrow views of humanity that you hold so near and dear.

Queer people aren't going anywhere

Simply put, everyone doesn’t need a podcast or radio show. The sooner we collectively accept that, the sooner we can reach liberation. One more thing — Black, queer people aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. I would suggest you unpack your internalized queerphobia and learn how to talk to us without revealing your own biases. It’s not cute.