A panel at last week’s Democratic National Convention featured a staffer from Wake Forest University’s LGBTQ Center who identifies as a “nonbinary/gender transcendent mermaid Queen-King.”
According to The Tennessee Star, J Mai called for the abolition of police forces, prisons and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“Why can’t folks imagine a world without the cops? Why can’t folks imagine a world without prisons?” Mai asked. “Why can’t people expand their imaginations to include community care, to include an abolitionist future?”
The mermaid Queen-King emphasized they (Mai uses plural pronouns) were talking real abolition, not some “watered down” version: “We’re talking about abolishing the police, we’re talking about abolishing ICE, we’re talking about abolishing prisons.”
The Star includes a link to the staff bios at Wake’s LGBTQ Center; the page, however, currently is listed as “404 Page Not Found.”
A cached version (as it appeared on August 20) describes Mai thusly:
J Mai (they/them) is a Black-Vietnamese, transgender nonbinary/gender transcendent mermaid Queen-King currently living out their ever-evolving truths in Winston-Salem, NC. A recently licensed minister in the Progressive National Baptist Church, J received their Bachelors in Sociology and Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at Wake Forest University and is currently working towards a Masters in Divinity at Wake Forest University School of Divinity. On top of their graduate studies, J is also the current graduate assistant at Wake’s LGBTQ+ Center and is research fellow with A Love Supreme: Black, Queer, and Christian in the South. Their study interests lie at the intersections of blackness, queerness, decolonization, and trauma — how these things get translated into practical and tangible ministry practices for black and trans queer folk lies at the heart of their pursuit of liberation for all people.
A new version of the center’s staff page omits Mai completely. The College Fix asked LGBTQ Center Director AJ Mazaris about the omission, but did not receive a response before publication.