WeHo mayor John D'Amico (left), with former mayor and executive director of the Trevor Project Abbe Land, WeHo city councilmember John Duran, and community leader Heidi Shink at Los Angeles Pride 2014
WeHo Mayor Apologizes For Laughing at Biphobic Joke

By Eliel Cruz

Originally published on Advocate.com June 09 2014 5:20 PM ET

The Mayor of West Hollywood has apologized after laughing at a joke which many said was biphobic, after bisexual activists called for an apology. 

Mayor John D’Amico made an appearance on local radio station KNX on Friday, promoting the Los Angeles Pride festivities, which took place in West Hollywood this weekend. During the interview, D’Amico referred to the works of LGBT activists as “gay and lesbian activism,” eschewing mention of the transgender and bisexual community.

Later in the interview, the reporter made a joke on Demi Lovato being "bi-coastal," which D’Amico laughed at. Lovato has never self-identified as bisexual, though many labeled her as such after intimate photos leaked showing Lavato with an unknown female. 

After the radio segment, Stacey Langley, a board member of BiNet USA, and self-described bisexual activist living in Costa Mesa, Calif., posted a letter to Facebook, expressing her dismay that:

"(a) the Mayor only referred to "gay and lesbian" activism. Does your station and the Mayor realize that the very idea of Pride itself was co-conceived by Brenda Howard, a NYC based bisexual activist? There are many bisexual and transgender people working in this community so that EVERYONE can attain equality, not just gays and lesbians.
(b) the reporter made a joke about Demi Lovato's performances at both NYC and LA Pride as "bicoastal."  This joke has been repeated several times this year. It is old and tired. Apparently, it's still okay to make fun of people you think might be bisexual, even if they haven't identified themselves as such. The complexities of sexually fluid people deserve more dignity from the Mayor of West Hollywood, and from KNX too."

D'Amico responded to the letter on Langley's Facebook wall. “Thanks Stacey," wrote the mayor. "It's not ok to make fun of people. We both know that and I certainly wasn't intending to. I'm glad you wrote to me. Hope to see you here this weekend enjoying the fun."

The same weekend, gay comedian Alec Mapa tweeted a joke that many bisexual activists found biphobic. The tweet, cosigned by Michelle Visage of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and later taken down, read, “When someone tells me they are bisexual I react the same way I do when someone tells me they’re allergic to gluten.”

After several Twitter users called out the problematic nature of Mapa's tweet, the Baby Daddy star apologized:

Apologies to my bi brothers and sisters. i bear no ill will. Some of my best exes are bisexual. I've experienced your magic first hand.

— Alec Mapa (@AlecMapa) June 5, 2014

Visage did not address the joke on her Twitter account. 

Contributor: 
Eliel Cruz