Fans of The Walking Dead universe will tell you that one of the reasons why they've been faithful to the franchise is that over the course of ten seasons, it's become a family. Don't believe me? When we get back to the days of having conventions again, check out the festivities going on in the audience before and during the show's usually star-studded panel. Characters we've grown to love have come and gone, but we still welcome back their real-world counterparts to spin their on-set tales on podcasts, AMC's Talking Dead, and in interviews with media around the world. Whether in person or via social media, fans have gotten to know the actors over the year, and they've gotten to know a number of Walking Dead fans. This is why the show's fanbase is expressing an outpouring of love and support for both Khary Payton (King Ezekiel) and his son, Karter.
On the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ employees cannot be fired based on sexual orientation, Payton introduced to his son Karter. Payton was introducing the world to Karter on Karter's behalf, who was born female but as Payton writes, "always identified as a boy." Karter chose to go with a "K" for his first name because it reminded him of his dad (yup, that got us in the feels), and… well… we'll leave it to Payton to get your waterworks flowing (followed by the original posts):
"This my kid. One of the most happy, well-adjusted individuals I've ever known. My son, Karter. Karter with a K because it reminded him of my name. He chose it. You see, he was born female but has always identified as a boy. He thought it would be cool if I announced it on social media. I told him that there would be so many supporters but also a lot of jerks who would be harsh. He said, "Yeah, I know about trolls, daddy. I can handle trolls." 😅 Man, there is nothing more beautiful than watching your child feel the joy of exploring what it means to be true to themselves. This is his journey, and I am here for it. I hope you all have the opportunity to feel the unquenchable love that I am feeling right now."
The Supreme Court's decision combines two cases that were presented before it. One case involved two plaintiffs who were fired after revealing that they were gay, while the second case involved a transgender individual who was fired after revealing her gender identify to her employer. Looking to follow through on an election promise to the right-wing religious right, Trump's administration fought against extending Title VII to the LGBTQ community but Trump nominee Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the majority decision: "An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids."
Gorsuch continued, "In Title VII, Congress adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee's sex when deciding to fire that employee. We do not hesitate to recognize today a necessary consequence of that legislative choice: An employer who fires an individual merely for be- ing gay or transgender defies the law." Gorsuch, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor voted in the majority.