By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com September 02 2009 1:25 PM ET
America’s Best Dance Crew judge Lil Mama has issued an apology to the LGBT community and transgender contestant Leiomy Maldonado for comments she made on Sunday’s show.
"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."
Maldonado, who dances with the all-gay dance group Vogue Evolution, was taken to task by Lil Mama for her attitude. In a video of the group’s rehearsal shown before their performance, Maldonado was seen yelling at the rest of the group and walking out of rehearsal.
“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.”
Moments after the show aired, trans activists and allies took to the Web to complain about Lil Mama’s comments. GLAAD reported on its blog that it had received numerous complains with regard to Lil Mama’s comments.
In earlier performances, Lil Mama has openly expressed her support of Vogue Evolution and, specifically, Leiomy. After the group performed a routine to the Beyoncé song “Déjà Vu,” she said, “It took a transgender woman to bring out the femininity of Sasha Fierce.”