On Monday, The Walking Dead star Khary Payton (King Ezekiel) introduced the world (at his request) to his son Karter, born female but who as Payton wrote in his post at the time, "always identified as a boy." Since then, both Paytons have received an outpouring of love and support, and now the actor is returning to social media but this time? In the clip below, Payton thanks everyone in both the Walking Dead and LGBTQ communities for all of their positivity while offering some sage advice for those still having a hard time opening their minds to the differences around us. Here's a look at Payton's touching and heartfelt message, followed by a tweet from one of Karter's new friends. Except this one's from "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away":
Here's what Payton had to say about Karter in his original post: "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."
Payton's introduction of his son Karter came on the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ employees cannot be fired based on sexual orientation. The Supreme Court's decision combined a case involving two plaintiffs who were fired after revealing that they were gay with a second case involved a transgender individual who was fired after revealing her gender identify to her employer. 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.