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Ramon Johnson

Were Lil' Mama's Comments To Leiomy Offensive?

By September 2, 2009

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Hip-hop star and judge Lil' Mama issued an apology today after comments she made to Vogue Evolution's Leiomy Maldonado during her Sunday performance.

Randy Jackson Presents: America's Best Dance Crew aired a clip of Leiomy walking out of rehearsal while venting her frustrations being the only transgender contestant. She performed with her group, Vogue Evolution, but was met with surprising criticism from Lil' Mama afterward:

"Leiomy, come on. Your behaviorÖ itís unacceptable. I just feel that you always have to remember your truth. You were born a man and you are becoming a woman. If youíre going to become a woman, act like a lady. Donít be a bird, like ĎOh my god, Iím not doing this!í You know what Iím saying? It gets too crazy and it gets confusing. Youíre doing this for America. Even though youíre the face for transgenders, youíre the face of America right now with this group and itís not about anybody else. Itís about yíall. You know what Iím saying? So do it for the team. Do it for the team," Lil' Mama said.

Lil' Mama has been a fan of Vogue Evolution since the season began, frequently saying she "lives" for the crew. She issued an apology for her comments to media watchdog GLADD stating that her 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."

GLAAD Senior Director of Media Programs Rashad Robinson criticized Lil' Mama's on-air comments as imposing "standards of conformity for gender identity and expression." In a statement, Robinson went on to say, "Transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, become targets of discrimination and violence when inaccuracies and acts of insult like this are advanced. Contrary to what was said on the program, as an openly transgender woman and dance contestant, Leiomy is living her truth."

What do you think?
Were Lil' Mama's comments offensive?

Image: Vogue Evolution member Leiomy Maldonado.
Comments
September 4, 2009 at 5:14 am
(1) ArJay says:

I don’t think lil mamas comment to lorenzo malanado was offensive at all. She’s just being real. All she was saying to “leiomy” was if your tryna change into a woman then act like a STRONG” woman. Don’t just give up and quit on jus everything. Be positive as a woman and keep it going.

September 6, 2009 at 9:37 pm
(2) dionne says:

Gay, straight, transgender or not…the bottom line is that the behavior was unacceptable. And when you are in a trailblazing position, recognize the power of your influence to be counted and to be counted on!

September 12, 2009 at 6:50 pm
(3) John says:

I am a little bothered by your comments. Leiyomi is a woman. It does not matter that she was born a biological male – she identifies with the female gender. calling her out as a man becoming a woman is offensive, and Yes, her behavior was catty – - but they were even open and upfront of that catty behavior. It is what provides the group with their swagger. Vogueing— flamboyant, fierce, stylish movement…nowhere does it say “role model”…and who is lil mama to say how someone should act. UGH. its just plain old sexism…the invisible battle.

They are queens, and that behavior is expected. I am glad Lil Mama apologized, she is being real by admitting her ignorance, and i think she learns from it, and some of y’all do too.

March 17, 2010 at 11:02 pm
(4) Rachel says:

Yes, they were.

She could legitimately have said “You’re acting badly, this is not professional, you need to stop it”. She did not need to imply that calmness and decorum are definitive female qualities, that’s sexist, and Lil Mama didn’t need to imply that Leiomy acting unprofessionally was about some sort of trans attention seeking thing.

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