Forget the Token Gay: Tonight’s Real World: DC Premiere Has 2 Bisexuals


What do you mean you’re not planning on watching the premiere of Real World: D.C. on MTV tonight? As if you needed a reason to, there’s 22-year-old Colorado native Mike Manning, the bi guy — and self-proclaimed “star athlete, prom king, popular with all the girls” — who’s had long-term relationships with both men and women. And he grew up in a Christian family. Adorable! (Yes, this is the guy who hangs with Rep. Jared Polis, courtesy his Human Rights Campaign internship during the show.) And as if you needed a second reason to, there’s also Emily Schromm, another bi castmate who grew up in a fundamentalist Christian cult. Superfun!

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  • District2005

    Um, so is anyone else getting kinda annoyed with Mike’s “you don’t have to be a queen to be gay” schtick? Here’s a quote he gave to TV Guide:

    “When they [called me] “token gay guy,” I think most Americans think of stereotypes within that title — “Oh, he doesn’t like sports. Oh, he’s whiny, he’s going to cry. He’s going to be good at fashion.” I suck at fashion! I just recently learned how to match — you can’t wear brown shoes with a black shirt. [Laughs]”

    [Pukes] Doesn’t he realize that he’s coming across as a douche who has a thing against fem dudes? He goes on and on about how he was a star athlete and popular & awesome with the girls. Enough! Just be yourself, “dude”.

    Also: “Growing up in Colorado, when I thought of gay people, I thought of, like, the Village People and feather boas — that’s the problem”

    Is it really? Ugh. Self loathing. Blah!

    Also, he worked for the HRC? :: rolling eyes ::


    He fits right in with the self-hating house queers at HRC.

    A match made in heaven really.


  • Mikey S

    He is cute, but would be cuter with eyebrows. :)

  • Steph

    It never ceases to amaze me how some gays go ballistic, when someone else says he considers himself gay, despite not fitting the stereotype!

    Seriously, what are these complainers wanting? Mandatory feminization of each fresh crop of America’s gay boys? Legislation declaring that only stereotypical gays are valid gays? I find the self-hatred is in those who issue these transparently hypocritical attacks.

    Masculine gay/bi men these days are rapidly realizing that they can simply be themselves after all. They’re entitled to reach out to other masculine men whom they relate to. They’re entitled to make a safe place for other men who feel threatened by nontraditional lifestyles. Closeted men and boys in our culture need to receive the message that homosexuality isn’t about being like the stereotypes, and the old school queens are just going to have to survive with the ensuing shortage of drunken sailors and coked-out ex-farmboy strippers.

    When someone stands up and tells America that he doesn’t fit a stereotype, he’s not attacking those who embrace, and even glorify stereotypes in their lives. He’s just not linking his identity to yours, which I suppose can be very enraging if you suffer from a sense of entitlement. I suppose it can be very frustrating when someone tells you that you’re annoying, and you’ve lost the opportunity to shame him by somehow linking his repulsion of your personality to unjustifable bigotry.
    I suppose it can be very threatening if America’s oldschool gays lose their fabulous sacred-cow status.

    That’s what this is really about. It’s queer bigotry against Mike and his, ahem, nontraditional gayness. It’s about oldschool queens losing their superpower against a world that won’t give them more than lukewarm acceptance. It’s about helplessly watching the new generations of men circumvent your tollbooth and go on and build a world besides the one you wanted.

  • Jon

    he’s also fighting against the bias of gay men towards bisexaul men, in that they can argue that in being bi-sexual these men are not completely comfortable with themselves being homosexual men.

  • SteamPunk

    Well, in all fairness, Mike’s not the “Token Gay Guy” – he’s bisexual. Although, my dad once said that one of the hateful things some gays and straights have in common is their assertion that bisexual people don’t truly exist.

  • soakman

    @steampunk… your dad said that? NICE! My parents have no clue about sexual/gender politics. :)

    Also, I’m fairly glad this guy is making a stand. There’s nothing wrong with being feminine, embracing feather boas, etc, but he’s trying to tear down some very very closely embraced stereotypes about sexuality. And to MTV viewers (many of which are young adults/early adults). If we can erase the fear and erase this generations inability to relate to men who like men on any level, it’s a step in the right direction.

    Are queens and feminine type men being left out of the PC-ness here? Sure. But this guy is clearly not YOUR spokesperson. He’s trying to reach out to people who can relate to him. He’s not endorsing anti-queen intolerance. He’s just saying, “Hey, I’m not that guy.” Which is something we all have the right to say. I’m not the sporty athletic guy myself, but I am also not that fabulous guy over there either. I wouldn’t want people to assume I was either. Would you?

    Don’t deny that there are queeny gays out there. The issue here is visibility. If you’re burning brighter than than the nearest star, people are gonna call your sexuality, they are. If you’re not. If you’re just some dude, they won’t. The invisible deserve just as many identity and legal rights as the rest of us. And if they want to open and out, they should be able to be.

    I’ve had friends (and at times, myself included) that have been antagonized by gay people because they don’t think these friends (or myself) are gay. One guy who was asked to his face and replied with the truth was a) laughed at, and then b) responded to with “No you’re not.” Absurd.

    I say kudos to him until he starts slinging mud at the community. You can’t be mad at him for saying there are some gays who wear feathered boas and are fabulous when it’s true. He didn’t issue a condemnation of them, geez.

    and @District2005, maybe he is just being himself, “dude.” And if you don’t like him because you don’t like the popular jock type, then great. That’s your right. But don’t label him as a detriment to the community because you’re biased.

  • District2005

    Hey “Steph” with the chip on his/her shoulder that used “old school“ three times to the point of coming across as a tad ageist… Um, what? I’m not going ballistic because he’s not fitting a stereotype. Slow down there. I’m getting annoyed because he keeps bringing it up & it sounds self loathing. Sounds like I hit a nerve with you, though. Good.

    Look, you went way off the cliff on this one. I’m not wanting mandatory feminization. Not wanting legislation. Just want people to be themselves WITHOUT coming across as douche. It‘s like this: We get it Mike. You are not a queen. But there‘s no need to go on about how you‘re not a queen. To do that just reeks of self loathing / discomfort with liking a peen in your butt. Be a giant queen. Be a giant manly man. But just shut up stop & stop self loathing. No need to “stand up and tell America that I don’t fit a stereotype.” America gets it. Also, America? Ha! Shut up. You sound like one of those bad Republicans.

    Oh, and one more thing. Your argument has been shot to hell: I‘m in my early 20s, not a queen, and have no feeling of self entitlement. Thanks though. Also, do you work for the HRC, too? lol

  • District2005

    @SOAKMAN: Egad. “I’m not that guy.” Do you realize how that sounds? Again, NO NEED! You all keep running off the cliff into a rights issue. Who said I’m denying there are flamboyant queens? Who said masculine gay men deserve no rights? WTF? I’m sure Mike is a sweetheart. But he just needs to relax and be himself. Again, we know you’re not a giant queen. No need to keep saying that. You come off as a douche when you say that. Again, THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH LIKING PEEN IN YOUR BUTT, MIKE. Just relax! Have a beer, bro.

    Also, is it me are SOAKMAN/STEPH sounding like polished PR reps for Mike/HRC? Very strange.

  • District2005

    Also, a writer at the Baltimore Sun recap nailed it when she wrote about Mike:

    “Mike: He didn’t want to bring it up, but somehow Mike ended up telling his roommates at their first dinner that he is bisexual. (Translation: He did want to bring it up.) He said repeatedly that he didn’t want to talk about it much because then it would become the thing that defines him. Well, guess what. All I can remember about Mike is that he’s the bisexual guy. And that he really likes his church, too. Sorry, Mike.

    Again: relaaaax Mike

  • terrwill

    ANOTHER NEWSFASH: ALONG WITH RUSH WINDBAG, MIKE IS GAY! He is clearly torn between his deep religious convictions and his desire for peen. Thus in his mind by identifying as “Bi” he can somewhat balance the two out. In time he will drop the Bi tag.
    And did you check out the bod on that guy? Freakin hawt!!

    SPECIAL BONUS JOKE!!! I have a very good friend who identifies himself too, as Bi-Sexual….He sleeps with men and boys!!! : P

    And me thinks Andrew is going to be my all time fav RW cast member. He is an adorable loony toon! That guy is nuttier than all the fruitcakes under my Christmas tree!

  • Kevin

    Who cares if he is explicitly saying that he’s not a feather-boa wearing queen? It seems like on so many of these blogs that people only want one kind of unrealistic perfect representation of the gay community.
    Mike is a bi-sexual man, that doesn’t want his sexuality to define him and be that “bi-guy, mike”. He’s just a regular guy that just HAPPENS to be gay just like everyone on this board. If he can make the point explicit to America then maybe people in this country will start to realize that we ARE just like everyone else. I don’t think this is a bad thing.
    Hey, maybe a majority will vote for gay marriage someday.

  • Tonyboy

    this guy isn’t my definition of masculine. is it a bi thing to screw up your eyebrows? For someone against boas it looks like this “dude” is about to get into drag. he just needs to pencil his eyebrows on.

  • soakman


    you: No need to “stand up and tell America that I don’t fit a stereotype.” America gets it.

    Does it? Does America really get it? I don’t think they do. Actually.

    This is a visibility vs. invisibility issue. Being able to be out and open and self-confident AND invisible to a hetero-normative majority isn’t easy.

    I say 2005 needs to chillax.

    And typecast me as whatever you want 2005, your obviously very good at passing judgement so I don’t intend to stop you. But political beliefs aside, who seems more divisive here, the reality tv show dude or you? I feel like we need to stop picking apart our own community. No wonder we never get anything done without outside help.

  • ChrisM

    District2005, I don’t think the guy is trying to distance himself from gays when he says that he’s not flamboyant. You can’t deny that many straights (and some gays even) have this stereotypical notion of a gay man as a fashion-conscious and “girly” dude. The reason I have a problem with the stereotype is that I want to be recognized as a member of the community without being compared to a “typical” homosexual man. Once when I told somebody I was gay, they asked me if I liked shopping. I said no, and they told me that I’m “not really gay then.” That’s what I don’t, and probably Mike doesn’t, like about the stereotypes. It’s not that we hate the people that fit them. We hate the fact that they exist, and that some small-minded people need you to inherit a stereotype for them to actually recognize who you are.

    I do agree with your quotation from the reporter, though. LGBT people shouldn’t feel the need to come out when introducing themselves. However, we all know the reporter would have thought of Mike as “the bisexual guy” even if he had come out later in the season. The minority is going to stand out no matter what. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When we get to the point where “the bisexual guy” has no connotations other than a man who likes both sexes, then we’re golden.

  • Same Crap

    So are “bi” guys the ones who call themselves “str8,” “masc,” and “married” when cruising for cock on hook up sites?

  • District2005

    @Soakman: “Does it? Does America really get it? I don’t think they do. Actually.”

    Um, yes they do. They get that Mike is trying to distance himself from queens. That’s what I meant.

    “I feel like we need to stop picking apart our own community” Actually, not picking apart our own community.

    I’m just picking on Mike for coming across as douchey. :)

    @Chris: “The reason I have a problem with the stereotype…” That’s the thing. Fuck all whatever someone else thinks. There’s just no need to go on and on about how non-queeny you are. You just act like how you want to act and move on.

    The crux of it is this: the more you harp on how you’re not like so and so, the more it sounds like you’re hating on so and so. Follow? Just shut up and live your life.

  • What?

    @Step Thank you for being the beacon of light amongst the usual pack of rabid idiots who post on Queerty.

    Your post was simply magical. Beautifully worded and well put.

    Nothing I can even add to it. You said it all.

  • Steph

    Thanks, what.

    And thanks, District for repeatedly bringing your ‘peen’ into the mix so we can all see what you’re so unhappy about.

    Let’s see… what District wants is for those damn nontraditional, nonconforming nonheterosexuals to STOP FLAUNTING IT in our proper, traditional gay faces. He wonders why they can’t just be quiet and unobtrusive about their abnormality like, erm, nice ordinary queens(?!) And to STOP making their intolerable alliances with the Enemy… hmmmm.

    Oh dear. I think most people can now see the problem here. I mean, really. What is District and his ilk up to after that? Petitions to stop the masculine bisexuals from being in pride parades? Pressure on the school boards to keep manly-bi support groups from forming in our public schools? After all, their failure to behave appropriately is a liability to our community and all we’ve fought for! =D

    It just seems to me that when Mike assures his audience that he’s non-stereotypical, it’s not because he’s got a quota of attacks to fire upon the poor vulnerable queen community. I think he’s just preemptively pushing back at any straights within earshot who may be about to pop off one of those delicious “feather boa” questions. Celebrate diversity!

  • Sean

    Say whatever you want but “Bi” is just an excuse for someone that likes dick and wont face the facts. Bi is a sign that a man will most likely never be fully satisfied by a woman and is the quick and easy way to make themselves feel better b/c they are “partially” excepted by mainstream society.

    I’ve dated “bi” guys before and it’s complete bs. They’re gay but wont admit it.

  • Steph

    Sean…. but YOU are really just saying THAT. lol

    Bisexiality is not a condition whereby a person is at personal odds with the reality of his biology. Bisexuality is where a person is aware that either a man or a woman can arouse him, and either one promises to satisfy him. That’s fundamentally more honest than your theory. It’s fruitless to berate bisexuals and try to make them think that they’re somehow *closing* doors by “lying”.

    Bisexuals are not denying their true nature. Let’s give them credit for knowing themselves a little better than some others. It’s the “straights” who sneak out for a little anonymous anal and the “gays” who still sleep with their ex-wives when they’re over to visit the kids, who make more compelling objects of debate.

  • soakman

    Just a personal note:

    I’ve been dating a bi man for 2 years just about. I’m thoroughly convinced that I have nothing to worry about. He’s attracted to women, yeah, but he has chosen a relationship for a reason.

    If you wanted to sleep around, you’d likely do it and not make a commitment to someone. Unless, that is, you’re a total sleazebucket.

  • Steph

    I’m attracted to blondes AND redheads. I’ve been with both, so I know for sure. I’m with a blonde now, but a goodlooking readhead really grabs my attention on the street. Obviously, my current blonde partner cannot trust me to never cheat on him with a redhead, even though i’m also blonde, making redheads unnatural for me.

    Wait… who makes up these stupid, silly rules? Are insecure teenage girls really that influential on gay culture?!

  • ChrisM

    Stop with the freaking bi bashing. You people are worse than the straights who believe gays are going against their natural inclinations by being with the same sex. So what if your boyfriend seemed like he was using bi as a partial mask? Some gays do that. Some straights claim they’re bi because they want to be different. It doesn’t change the fact that some people ARE bisexual. Is that really hard to believe?

    I think society treats men and women as opposites, and that’s where this “bisexual-is-impossible” philosophy comes from. But I think it’s more of a chocolate/vanilla sort of thing. Who says liking one means you can’t like the other. Think about it – what is the basis for thinking that attraction to a sex is necessarily exclusive anyway? While I’m not attracted to women, it’s not because they’re anti-men or something.

  • ossurworld

    Do two bi-sexuals equal one genuine full-bodied gay?

  • JoshH

    Seriously, I gotta agree with ChrisM – the gay culture tends to believe that all straights can be converted to like the dick (with enough booze), but your buddy letting you go down on him one night is closer to him expressing a little bit of bisexuality than going full-on gay for you.

  • TheAwfulTruth

    Narcissistic, self-absorbed, self-loathing, unbearable and pathetic bore who will do anything on camera for his 15 seconds of fame. Queerty, I don’t want to see any more crap on this jerk. If we ignore people like him and the media don’t give them the attention they want, they will wither and die.

  • Erik A

    @Steph: well said. i agree.. as i wearing my boa.

  • Erik A

    @Erik A: *as i wear my feather boa.

  • Mel

    I was losing hope in humanity until I read Steph and ChrisM’s comments.

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