Saturday, September 5, 2009

Lil Mama Apologizes to Trans Woman

9/5/09: Lil Mama has issued an apology to the trans community and to the contestant Leiomy.

"I would like to clarify anything that was misunderstood from Sunday's show,” Lil Mama said in a statement released by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. “My remarks were never meant to be disrespectful regarding Leiomy's gender nor offensive to the LGBT community, which has been a community that has supported me in all my endeavors. However, in hindsight, I recognize that my words may have come across as hurtful. I spoke with her privately after the taping to express that it was not my intent to offend her or any member of the transgender community and that I still live for Vogue Evolution" (Advocate).

8/31/09: Underlying conflict rose to the surface for Vogue Evolution last night on America’s Best Dance Crew as Leiomy said she was homesick and was shown acting out in rehearsal footage. After their performance, judge Lil Mama waded into controversy with some of her comments to Leiomy.
“Leiomy, come on. Your behavior…it’s unacceptable. I just feel that you always have to remember your truth. You were born a man and you are becoming a woman. If you’re going to become a woman, act like a lady. Don’t be a bird, like ‘Oh my god, I’m not doing this!’ You know what I’m saying? It gets too crazy and it gets confusing. You’re doing this for America. Even though you’re the face for transgenders, you’re the face of America right now with this group and it’s not about anybody else. It’s about y’all. You know what I’m saying? So do it for the team. Do it for the team.” (GLAAD).
Here is the segment featuring the Leiomy controversy:


What does Leiomys behavior have to do with the fact that she is transgender? It is one thing to call out a contestant for being confrontational with team mates but quite another to relate that to their gender identity.

Contact Lil Mama via twitter and let her know your thoughts about what it means to "act like a lady" and what a true "voice of the young people" as she calls herself should promote.

12 comments:

Mel said...

Thank you for addressing this outrageous situation. I was so upset when I heard Lil Mama call out Leiomy on ABDC last night. Not only were her comments totally inappropriate, they were ridiculously stereotypical and sexist. What the hell does "act like a lady" mean, anyway? I'd like her to explain that to America on national television.

Great post.. thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I think you are overreacting about this. I thought that act like a lady was meant more as be nice and professional. Like saying act like a gentleman but since she isn't a man it's fine to say act like a lady. If you've seen other episodes, Lil Mama has always been respectful of her.

Anonymous said...

FYI Lil Mama: Leiomy is ALREADY a woman. Can't say the same for you.

Diane J Standiford said...

Hahahaha, me thinks she doth protest too much.

Anonymous said...

Without question, that whole judgement was awkward, but I think it's important to remember how incredible they've all been. Lil Mama has been nothing but supportive...people say things when they're not a part of the community--things that are meant to be supportive--and sometimes those things aren't what we'd like them to say. Still, I think it's so easy for us queers to forget that not everyone is a liberal minded...cut Lil Mama some slack...make it a teaching moment.

Anonymous said...

Lil Mama-what a name-is ignorant-plain and simple. I wish she would pack her fake hair,ugly shoes and holier than thou attitude and just GO AWAY-never to be seen or heard from again. She is a waste of space.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with lil' mama. She's known for telling the truth and stating the facts.. She only said what's REAL! just like u would tell a girl who was showing out like that, the same thing. That you need to act more lady like and not a mess. In fact I believe lil'mama put it in the best terms as possible and very politely. I think people should stop being so sensitive and realize the truth is the truth.

Anonymous said...

I don't really think people understood what she said. She's saying if you're going to be a woman, be a lady, not a bird. As in be graceful, be poised, be feminine, not clumsy and overwhelming. It had everything to do with her performance and nothing to do with her sexuality. It might seem sexist, but you can't say anything about men/women now that can't be misconstrued as sexist.

Anonymous said...

Lil' Mama is a young lady and it seems showed her inexperience and ignorance with the trans community. I have to honestly say that many straight young women her age, even libral, who have not been exposed to trans issues could easily pop off at the mouth like that...wrongly so.

I know she meant well but pointing out Leiomy's trans status was not part of the issue at all.

I agree with Anonymous 5:16...lets make this a teaching moment.

Anonymous said...

Lil Mama has only been supportive of VE b/c they're from NYC & it's just the "PC" thing to do. I still don't get what qualifies her to be a judge in the 1st place... But that's a whole 'nother topic. Personally, they all get on my nerves w/ their pseudo-wisdom-filled-advice & critiques!

What she said was not misconstrued; it was very plain, and very VERY ignorant. "You were born a man" SO THE FUCK WHAT?! Nobody-man or woman- is calm, cool, and collected all the time. Being in a nationally televised competition like ABDC can put a lot of stress on anyone, and people handle it differently. Leiomy and VE as a whole are in a very unique position and represent a group that isn't always shown in the best light on television. That's a lot to have on one's shoulders.

In addition, I really don't consider her statement an apology; I didn't see "I'm sorry" or "I apologize" anywhere in there. All I saw was that it was not her intent to offend or hurt-- Well it was offensive, and it DID hurt. So apologize, jackass.

realsupergirl said...

I am pretty sure Lil Mama cost Vogue Evolution the chance to be ABDC. I am also sure JC voted for VE, so I guess it all comes down to Shane in that case. Either way, I think VE bumped against the limits of tolerance this week, and it sucks. Because they are EASILY the most talented crew on the show.

Her apology is a decent start- although as other have noticed as apologies go it's kind of a halfassed one - but it doesn't change the fact that she had a chance to respond to Leomie on television after she got called out on her transphobia, and she didn't.

Merlyn said...

I wasn't particularly offended as a transman. There is nothing wrong with acting with a little class and poise--"like a lady". It may be sexist, but there is no need to be rude, crude and and unacceptable in one's speech and demeanor.

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