NATIVE SON: #NIGELSHELBY🤴🏾
NATIVE SON: #NIGELSHELBY
“...to be visibly queer is to choose your happiness over your safety” - Da’Shaun Harrison
A place for the highest level of education before entering into the collegiate levels of mastering one’s smarts for academic success. The safe haven for creating longevity in friendships, impactful to rememberable moments internalizing that after THIS is the beginning.
High school a place built to host many walks of life in knowing excellence is for everybody’s existence.
The place where people’s identities reflect realities in real time rather it’s inherited or influenced.
The place where people identify individuals to reflect realities in real time-- the realization of stereotypical speech and bias actions.
The place where people identify internally to indulge in...
**cues Solange “Almeda” inspired by Issa Rae’s bathroom raps on HBO’s Insecure**
Black Toxic Masculinity
All that hate still can’t be washed awayyyyy
Not even in that rainbow water.
A dim lit street
Black corner boys wearing
Riding on Black Stallions
Chasing Black boys who GLITTER✨
With ammo and more...
Oh to be...
For many black boys who glitter this is life everyday, all day, 24/7, 365 and that’s including Pride Months. Black queer boys strut down the high school halls daily sashaying through shades of slurs, hate and even physical confrontations from the “can’t takes” with great confidence.
Sadly, the greatest of confidence can concave giving into malicious manners and homophobia resulting in life loss of many black boys who glitter even in the darkness of night.
“...bullying is a by product of a world ill equipped to include that which is deemed different.” - Nadia M. Richardson, No More Martyrs
Nigel Shelby, a 15 year old, high school student committed suicide, due to daily school yard bullying. Huntsville High School is located in Huntsville, Alabama, which Shelby was an attending freshman.
The state of Alabama, itself, has no existing legislation that produces protections of/for LGBTQ+ students, so no wonder how 74% of LGBTQ+ youth say they don’t feel safe in educational institutions. Also the rates of suicide among black youths have increased almost doubled that of their non-colored youth counterparts.
MIND YOU I HAVE YET TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE AMOUNT OF SCHOOL SHOOTINGS... which crucially stems from #BULLYING!
The headlines of Nigel Shelby’s passing wasn’t even highlighted coverage until “the source of all news and media now” Facebook had post from profiles sharing the story with hopes to gain heavy news and media attention.
As the masses were met with the news of an unfortunate loss, I started to analyze the articles, read social comments and view videos.
“Nigel was the sweetest child. He was outgoing, he was always full of joy, full of light, he was always singing, always dancing. He wanted to be a performer so you could probably see that.” - Camika Shelby, Mother of Nigel Shelby
I can honestly say like many other black boys who glitter in the darkness...
He was failed in many ways oppose to being up-lifted in support to one day tell his story.
The system failed in equipping him and other students with the knowledge of access to seeking assistance.
Faculty who are hired not only to educate, but exemplify a model yet aren’t invested in the lives and minds of the young scholar. More importantly, a school environment achieved in openness allowing to live in one’s truth... authentically.
“With Nigel’s situation he was already struggling with his identity, so he was going through some stressful times. And depression is real. A lot of people don’t understand that depression is a disease. And when you have a kid who is already depressed and going through a lot emotionally, for you to call him names that you shouldn’t call him or say stuff to them, it sometimes has a worse effect than it would on a child who is not struggling with depression." - Camika Shelby, Mother
Mental-health awareness is a major key and must be taken heavily into account as his life could have been saved.
So many thoughts went through my mind as I gathered information...
Who were his friends?
What would allow these bullies to commit such crimes?
When were the faculty members going to intervene?
Where is the family?
Why didn’t he say anything of life taking thoughts?
Homophobia has been passed on like heirlooms of hate in spaces meant to be safe havens. Barbershops. Religious Sanctuaries. Neighborhood Blocks.
SCHOOLS... well not now as it’s been apart of the generational heirloom like an Infinity Stone in hiding.
I can recall conversations at a younger age of hearing words “fag”, “girly-girl”, “sissy”, “homo” and more from playgrounds to waiting chairs for a shape up as the old heads gay bash with overloads of toxic black masculinity.
🗣”Maaaan fuck all that gay shit!”
If I could go back in time to my younger self I would have volunteered as tribute for an ass whooping of a lifetime as I would have responded...
🗣”Naaah Maaaan fuck all that bullshit!”
Shame on the black homophobic heterosexual man for being solely invested in toxicity.
The disservice you have done to the black male race especially as black boys is atrocious in the exact mirroring reflection of race crimes in the matter of hate according to one’s identity in the truest form.
“Nigel was the sweetest child. He was outgoing, he was always full of joy, full of light, he was always singing, always dancing. He wanted to be a performer so you could probably see that.” - Camika Shelby, Mother
Her words are forever true. I discovered and followed his/their beloved Instagram page, @lovelynigel filled with pictures, telling a coming out story of BLACK BOY JOY and video expressing his love for music’s pop princess Ariana Grande.
Watching him sing, dance, act and cut-up (being silly) through his IG profile page, IDK who could hold back their emotions seeing such life that had longevity to complete. His pictures especially outside of his high school hits the hardest, as if he was filled with happiness outside those doors yet once inside the school building kindness wasn’t around.
Nigel Shelby only did you hateful punks a favor by gracing your halls and blessing you all with his presence yet you couldn’t comprehend a “come-up” as a friend and confidante, so you identify as a coward to collude ceasing a life.
Half way through the year and we are still experiencing and expecting only more tragedies in the black family.
Black lives matter and we must make it our business to be each other’s business.
We must start the conversations and invest time in one another creating a safe space for dialect and honesty.
Blacks lives must must must STOP THEIR SHIT when it comes to the Black LGBTQ community, as we are facing adversities as a people that are already setting us back and it’s only beneficial to come together as a race to run the course.
The Black family must lead with love and not man’s religion or personal hate.
I could only imagine if Nigel had a support system in all areas like Zion Wade has with his supportive BLACK family and parents (NBA Player Dwayne Wade; actress Gabrielle Union). Figures in his family and friendships he could confined into unraveling the hurt, the hate, the homophobia.
I, myself and many of other black gay males have applauded them tremendous amount of love and support D. Wade and Mrs. G. Wade-Union plus family show and give to Zion which only shows on a larger scale within the black family it is possible, capable and must be done!
If you want my stance... I believe legislation needs to be set in place to allow higher levels of law to get involved for a full and complete investigation with charges as the outcome against the bullies who were beneficiaries to a crimes they could have prevented from SHUTTING THE FUCK UP AND MOVING THE FUCK AROUND!
When one holds that much hatred towards a human it must be insecurities or intrigued.
🗣 What was theee REASON?!
What was it that you felt you had?!
How dare you think to hold that much power to hand out hate like a free pass throughout high school halls?!
🗣 What was theee REASON?!
Respectfully, sending my condolences to the family, friends and close ones of King Nigel Shelby as he had more life to live and more life to be discovered as a black, gay, male living in America.
I have attached two links below.
The first link is an interview Ms. Camika Quintay Shelby, the mother of Nigel Shelby. And second a link to the families GoFundMe account. Please make sure to join along with myself in donation as we must do a service of human kind and diligence to pay a debt he did not owe.
**line taken from Ricky Dillard + New G, “Because of the Blood”**
I should have been there for him. You didn’t have to leave. I must do more with this platform to reach all of us.
Know that you are loved and even more now!
Assistance is available, so please make sure to reach out to hotlines such as PFLAG (888) 843-4564 and Trevor Project 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 or text "START" to 678678.
You are not alone!
🙏🏾 NIGEL 🤴🏾✨ SHELBY 🙏🏾
I cannot wait to share your story in forums, meetings and more to continue the conversation to encourage others.
-JUSTIN MICHAEL HENDRIX
**Quotes/Credits/Photos taken from WAFF48 News Report by Kimberly Essex; Nadia MR’s Facebook; Artwork by Kendrick Daye**