Jaden Smith, actor, musician, socialite, fashion model, unofficial gender bending black queer activist and Will Smith's son has an onscreen kiss that's creating a buzz. In the new Netflix hit, The Get Down some describe as a queer prequel to Empire Jaden kisses a blonde stud wearing mess as disco music crescendos to a collage of sultry imagery. This moment has everyone talking, but why? There's a number of possible reasons. He's Black. He's handsome. He's enigmatic. He's nonconforming. He's rich. He's Will Smith's son.
Superstar and now arguably living legend, Will Smith turned heads back in 1993 when he played Paul, a gay con-artist posing as the son of Sydney Poitier in Six Degrees of Separation. This was a hallmark moment. An already famous Will, a black rap star was playing a gay character. This was an audacious role for someone like him at that time. Even today Justin Beiber refused playing a gay character in 2016. However Will was only willing to go so far. He refused a male onscreen kiss in the film due to the stigma that would follow.
Now Jaden is seemingly picking up where is father left off. This moment is not just about a gay onscreen kiss, but how far we have come. Jaden Smith doesn't have those same fears of stigma. He challenges the so called "norm." He flaunts his gender neutrality especially when it comes to fashion. He is destroying the old stereotype of what it means to be a black male in America. In doing this we see Jaden's humanity. He's complex and almost defiantly unapologetic about it.