Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lil Mama Apologizes to Leiomy Maldonado

Lil Mama, a judge on MTV's America's Best Dance Crew ( I still don't understand how she landed that job), has issued an apology for her disgusting comments directed at Leiomy Maldonado, an openly transgender member of the all queer group Vogue Evolution.

A behind the scenes clip that ran before the group's performance showed Leiomy storming off during rehearsal and acting diva-ish as the other member of the group complained about her attitude. Despite an outstanding performance Lil Mama berated Leiomy for her bad attitude. Lil Mama told Leiomy:
“Leiomy, come on. Your behavior… it’s unacceptable,” Lil Mama said after watching their performance. “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.”
Lil Mama's comments prompted an uproar among ABDC's LGBT audience, some of whom alerted gay watchdog group GLAAD about the comments. In a statement released by GLAAD Lil Mama apologized saying:
"I would like to clarify anything that was misunderstood from Sunday's show. 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."
Between Shane Sparks' barely concealed weekly homophobic panics and Lil Mama's ignorance and insensitivity I doubt that much will change with how ABDC deals with the members of Vogue Evolution, especially Leiomy. Right now the show's producers are probably counting on ABDC's presumed teenaged hetero demographic not to keep voting for Vogue Evolution as the show gets closer to the finale. In essence this move would rid the show of the "problem" that queerness "causes" without having to interrogate ABDC's implicit heterosexist and gender normative standards.

In the end I just wished that the judges (and the audience) shut the fuck up and deal with their discomfort and unease because Vogue Evolution are some fierce ass queers of color and they deserve the title.


Anonymous said...


joelfrominwood said...

Note also the "may have come across as hurtful" and emphasis on intent. As though the hurt community misinterpreted or made a mistake on their feelings. No Lil Mama, it WAS hurtful. Please apologize and acknowledge your responsibility like an adult.

And why do people feel the need to make it clear that they weren't intending to offend anybody? No shit, but somehow it managed to happen anyway.

Jamilah said...

hey, i know this is random (and i don't see email contact for your blog), but my name is jamilah and i'm an editor with wiretap magazine, an online progressive pub. dedicated to art, politics and young folks.

we love your work. would you mind if we reprinted this post on our site? we'd give you full credit (links, photo, bio, etc).

let me know,

Marisol LeBron said...

Hi Jamilah,

Feel free to reprint the post. Thanks for the support!


Anonymous said...


bombsoverfaghdad said...

yeah, that little ditty of her's left me with my jaw on the floor... thanx for being on top of this marisol btw have you seen her videos on YouTube? Leiomy vogues DOWN! YESZZZZ!!!!