reality relationships

The One Where We Truly Fall In Love With Real World DC‘s Mike (And His Mother)

Our interest in Real World DC‘s Mike Manning almost completely dissipated after he took that one guy home and made out with him on the pool table. But over the past two episodes, his bisexuality has become one of the main storylines. Namely, that his roommates no longer believe he’s bi — and that he’s full on gay. (That didn’t keep him from making out with two of the lady castmates, but whatevs.) And how he broke up with his boyfriend Tanner back home in Colorado, but still misses him, and is getting it on with major hottie Eric, but doesn’t want it to be too serious. Oh, and then there was last night’s episode, where he decided to finally tell the rest of his family about his big gay secret. It takes a lot to move us, and this was it.

“I’ve accepted the fact that I’m in love with a man,” Mike tells the camera as Tanner prepares his arrival. “It feels right to me, and there’s really no question about it.”

Mike’s mom is the best. And a mother always knows. Sisters, however, do not.
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It takes Eric for Mike to realize he wants to be with Tanner. “I am in love and I want him to come out here.”
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The part where Mike fawns over Rep. Jared Polis. And takes pictures of Jared’s pictures.
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  • The Milkman

    omg he’s adorable. what a sweet moment with his mom.

  • Kyle24

    ugh! in the special after the show he still thinks he is bi! he even went on to say that if he had to check a box he would circle straight, bi and gay. Come on! it is so obvious he is milking his 15 minutes. in the show he goes on and on about Tanner and his Callie kiss was so obviously forced for on his brother’s behalf.

  • Jeffery

    If you see Mike at a club, he’s gay. I mean right now, today. If you talk to his friends, he calls himself gay. But on the show and in interviews he’s calling himself bisexual. He’s obviously still confused. Classic case of using the bisexual label to his benefit that I’ve ever seen. He’ll come fully out of the closet soon.

  • SteamPunk

    I don’t know what crazy stuff he may do in the future, but this far it’s great to see coverage like this on TV – especially when it doesn’t seem as exploitative as previous offerings! (He’s not a fashionable stereotype; he’s actually involved in his community, etc) Toss in the fact that he’s super religious, and he’s probably one of the most interesting LGBT people on TV right now.

    Bravo, dude!

  • terrwill

    Give the guy time, he still has his Gay training wheels on……..

  • Persa

    I’d love to know how being bisexual benefits Mike particularly since he gets so much shit form every body and their auntie and people outright call him a liar.

    He wants to be involved in political activism on behalf of gays and lesbians and bisexuals will benefit from those activities.

    He he has dated more girls and boys and he’s been in love with both.

    If he’s still attracted to women physically, erotically (as he very candidly explained in multiple interviews) but happens to be dating guys right now, how does that make him not bi?

    Also, I think it’s a lot easier for folks in social situations to just not fight all the time about what folks call him.

    I have plenty of friends who are absolutely bisexual but don’t bother to correct folks in social situations because all their friends are gay and their scene is gay and having to argue about your sexual orientation all the time and with complete strangers sometimes is exhausting.

    Many younger queers just don’t care so much what you call them as long as they get to have sex with who they want and love who they want.

    Why are people holding this one young man who is obviously out and active in the community and not hiding behind a beard or denying what turns him on and who he loves accountable for what generations of cowardly men have done.

    He was very clear in the last interviews that I saw that he identifies as bisexual because while he might be more socially and emotionally drawn to gay men, he’s still sexually attracted to women.

    What other definition of bisexual is there? Does he have to date men and women at the same time to prove something to people?


  • Jon

    Momma Manning also just shocked/earned some real respect from the little sister at around 26 seconds left in the first clip after Mike explains she told him they couldn’t discuss his sexuality until he came to respect himself.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    I don’t watch this show. Who’s the guy in the hat in that pic? He’s friggin’ adorable.

  • Devon

    I want to see more of his brother-or-whoever-that-guy-is.

    He’s just as cute as Mike, but he has eyebrows.

  • Lucas

    I think Mike is one of those 90% gay 10% straight guys and because of that the label he feels most comfortable with is bi. I’m also one of those gays and I label myself as gay, whatever. Technically is he much more gay than straight? Sure, but he obviously views that 10% as significant (whereas I don’t) so we shouldn’t give him shit about it.

    With guys like him and myself, the label gay or bi still applies, let the kid live.

  • terrwill

    If you watch the episode its pretty clear that Mike is now going to identify as Gay as opposed to as Bi. He was basicaly scared shitless about making that declaration. He came from a small town, was typical jock, very religious, and felt he had to set an example for his younger Brother. In the scene where his Brother was playing pool with the two girls and one of them says we have a “Gay roomate”, his Bro is quick to say “No, he’s Bi”.
    You could see how uncomfortable Mike was about being Gay with his Brother which is why he made out with the girl in the club. It wasn’t until that great scene with his Mother where Mike was finally able to fit perfectley in his Gay skin. Jon’s comment #7 showed what an great Mother Mike has. She knew, like most Mothers that her son was Gay but until Mike was comfortable bringing it up it was not discussed. Her comment “I want some Grandkids, so you better get to changing those laws” was perfect.

    MTV has always been a great plus for the Gay community. Especially the teens who sometimes are facing all kinds of drama thinking about uttering the words “I’m Gay”. An episode like last nights Real World set tens of thousand of Gay kids minds at ease……….

  • NoDoubleStandards

    I just hope after the camera stops rolling that his mother and family continues to support him. No judgement about what he believes he is since he’s younger enough where it is his right to figure that out rather than assuming he is certain one way or the other. He’s further along than some, and behind others, but at least he’s trying to figure out in the open. You got to respect that.

  • ConcreteN

    Yea, I don’t know about this. On one hand I think its great that his mom was so supportive and that he came to terms with a lot that he was dealing. However, the still referring to himself as bi thing after making statements that everyone, including him, know are so indicative of him being gay just rubs me the wrong way.

  • hephaestion

    That moment when Mike’s mom apologized for asking Mike to hide who he is took my breath away. What a fabulous moment to have on film. What a great young man Mike is. And God bless his Mom for supporting him in being the best man he can be.

  • Sean

    The first video clip just made my day. :D Hooray!

    Who cares if he’s “bi now, gay later.” His mom/sisters support him, and that’s what matters.

  • Josh AZ

    I wish the show had more viewers.

    The irony is that his honest and very real story will accomplish more than everything HRC does this year. “Coming out” and “sharing” change our world.

  • NoDoubleStandards

    @ConcreteN: He is young. He just tentatively came out to his family for the first time. He did so on TV of all places. Some of whom did not look all that comfortable. Cut him some slack.

  • Sean214

    Can someone explain to me why “bi” guys are more accepted than gays? The way Mike’s brother jumped to say his brother, Mike is bi and not gay was as if the latter was a curse. Dude, either way your brother is sucking and taking cock up his ass. What does it matter if it is all the time if he is gay or a few times if he is “bi”? I think Mike feels that it isn’t as bad to be bi as it is to be gay and that is why he is playing this game.

    As for him being religious I’m not so sure about that. I have been watching the show and his actions don’t seem to reflect someone raised in a strict religion.

  • Lukas P.

    Bi Bi Birdie: Maybe it’s a generational thing: When guys my age [soon to be hitting my late 30s—please send icecream] were coming out in our late teens or early 20s, most who identified as Bi early on dropped that tag by their late 20s. And quit hitting the g-spot too.

    The guys I see at work now in their 20s —many of whom came out in their mid teens—seem to be more likely to hang on not just to the label Bi, but to having sex with men and women.

    Of the guys I know in their 40s and beyond, the vast majority who came out +and+ who didn’t marry a woman, stopped labeling as bi or having sex with women in their 20s. And haven’t turned back.

    This sure as hell isn ‘t a scientific survey, but a colleague of mine has a theory that there’s less pressure to “pick a side” now than there was 10-15 years ago. Sounds plausible to me.

    Bisexuality doesn’t mean an equal attraction to men/women, necessarily, but a desire and openness to having partners of “either” sex.

    Were I to be –heaven forbid– attached to a machine/recording device to measure, um, my “response” to erotica featuring men, and then women, I wouldn’t prob. score “no response” to a woman, but those kinds of studies aren’t terribly reliable or valid, although they were used in some pretty groundbreaking studies, so they shouldn’t be disregarded. [and participating in them paid for Spring Break!]

    Meanwhile, whether Mike’s “bi-ness” is transient or lasting, only time will tell.
    His Mom really did surprise me on the show, and I too hope her support lasts beyond the final episode.

    Good on MTV for showing this story. That does some good for viewers struggling with their own coming out, and perhaps their friends and families too.

  • Jorge

    He’s 22 and he didn’t know who represents him in Government? What an idiot. Sounds like he’s real invested in the politics thing….


    I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Mike and he is a very cool and unassuming guy. He’s also committed to learning how he can be involved in the fight for full equality. I used to think Bi was bullshit, but, over the last few months I’ve met many and they honestly are Bi. I say more power to them, they face crap from the Gays and the Straights. How many of us strictly Gay folks would add yet one more thing to our plates if we didn’t have to?

  • NoDoubleStandards

    When someone says they are bi, straights think “well all hope is not lost. He may end up with a girl one day.” When one says they are gay, they assume you will not end up with a girl. It is just their way of being bigots, but against the part they don’t like. So, yes, this dude may be a total bottom, or what not, but his brother is thinking of the girls he will be with. They assume being bi is a phase. I bought this book one time on bisexuality. Good book. Forgot its name. It goes into the psychology of the phobia that goes into being bi. On the straight end, the assumption is that the sex with men is not real. If his brother ends up in a relationship with a guy, you can bet the guy who is happy that his brother is gay will probably deep down be thinking “so he’s gay now?” rather than seeing men as a viable option for a relationship even if his brother is bi.

  • Lukas P.

    @NoDoubleStandards: Good point about what the straights–e.g. brother–are probably thinking!

    He’s still, as you & others have said, figuring things out. Let’s be honest, both straights and gays have some vested interest in seeing him pick our team. For either side to somehow pressure him wouldn’t help. Plus, he’s now a “poster child” and under camera surveillance, which has to ramp up the pressure. I don’t envy his position. Just his body!

    I should’ve mentioned that what I referred to up above was about guys, not women, whose bisexuality is more accepted by other women, and who are more likely to go back & forth. Surveys, blah blah blah. You get the picture

    I’d given up on that show after a few lousy seasons, but it’s back on the list.

  • Andre C

    He is pretty damn amazing.He is articulate, masculine, cute, smart, empathetic and very “normal”. He makes gays look good again. I <3 him Thanks for this this collage Queerty!

  • blksantos

    watching this episode made me brave. im now thinking of going out of the closet and telling my friends first then maybe my family. thanks for this!

  • CollegeBoi

    @Andre C: I respect your opinion, and I would just like to state my own. Just because he is articulate, masculine, cute, smart, and empathetic he is “normal”? Normal is a social construction and is relative. By that standard, a lot of guys would not be normal. Second, he does not make “gays” look good again because he does not even identify as “gay”. If anything, he would make “bi” appear less stigmatized.

  • returned

    bi is gay or bi is frayed…or whatever ….gay is a cursew for the low lives of reality…we will never fail ourselves, thats what matters.

  • returned

    there should be a morotorium on under 30s spouting wisdoms..they usually fail..never are that mature to begin with, or are un evolved…bi? baby dont care be that…the fight is more deep….gay bor the highway OK??????

  • jason

    If he’s bisexual in orientation, he’s bisexual in orientation. There’s nothing you gay cultists can do about it.

    If he’s in love with a man now, it simply means that he’s found the best person he can relate to at this moment in his life. It may last forever, it may not. It doesn’t mean he’s “really gay”. It simply means that he has the found the right person.

    You gay cultists need to get over yourselves. Like straight male homophobes, you classify male sexuality as either gay or straight. How wrong you are.

  • adam

    I’ve noticed an interesting similarity between gay men and homophobic straight guys. Both groups want to categorize male sexual orientation as gay or straight, with nothing in-between.

    I think it proves that gay men and homophobic straight guys share the same narrow-minded attitude.

  • NoDoubleStandards

    @adam: It is not phobia that defines a gay person’s issue with bi. It is how society will then tell the gay person that because a bi people exist that means gay people can change their orientation. There is the separate issue of bi being used by a sizeable bulk of those who so identify as a bridge to admitting they are gay. In both cases, the tension is not about dislike or trying to place someone into some limits. Let’s face it I doubt many gay men really care. The real issue is how it affects us as gay men and how society views us due to bisexuality. The whole “it is a choice” debate.

  • terrwill

    And once again the Queerty threads begin to turn into a school yard where name calling becomes the norm. I can’t see anyone who has made any negative comments about Bi persons. What I and I think most posters have stated is that proclaiming being Bi is kinda being Gay with training wheels on. You are scared to take the plunge, so your “wheels” is the ability to find security in the “norm” of sleeping with the opposite sex. I have seen the majority of people I met that have identified as Bi when first comming out, after a couple of years now identify as Gay. Yet I do know some people who are officially Bi, however they are far from the majority and mostly female. They still identify and support the Gay community and causes, and are not stigmitized in any way. Whatever, the community has enough groups who toss poo our way and hate on us. To tear apart other posters for their view makes not a lot of sense…….

    A circular firing squad kinda defeats the purpose………

  • nikko

    Excellent , JASON. I agree.

  • Bayley

    I LOVE THE REAL WORLD! I don’t care what anyone says…the show did more for me as a gay youth than any member of my family, and with episodes like this, I can only imagine the positive impact it has on the next generation of LGBT pioneers still in the closet in middle America inspired by what they see on a reality television show, at that.

    Job well done MTV (for a change)

  • Bayley

    And he’s not bi, he’s gay. People screaming they’re bi are usually very insecure and weak about facing reality …and Mike by his own admission couldn’t ever say “I’m with a guy” ever in his life. He admited that. MANY gay men think being bisexual means you’re higher up on the food chain and closer to the all important straight region. Many gay men want to be seen as straight (sadly) except for the bedroom. Hence using terms like “str8 acting” and loosely using words like fag and gay with straight friends. Saying you’re bisexual when you’re with a man, love him, see yourself spending the rest of your life with him AND admit you’ll most likely end with a man is a sad, sad reflection of society and your inner deamons. Work them out, but don’t preach to us what we don’t see is clear. I’ve known MANY “bisexual guys” who are now married to same sex partners and often joke about those insecure bi days they adopted for fitting in purposes.

  • Jacob

    I love his mom…she seems amazing. Wish my mother was more like that :S xxx

  • edgyguy1426

    College, maybe Andre C meant ‘normal’ in the sense of what you don’t usually see on TRW.- Alcohol binging, overly dramatic, well, just a mess in general (i.e. Ruthie from Hawaii)

  • Philip A.

    He’s cute and charming, love him! ;)

  • adman

    That scene with his father when they confronted the bigot, that made me well up. The father suggested they go back and be less confrontational, maybe they could begin to change the guys mind…Mike took him right up on it. THen Dad says..”I’m proud because you’re my son”…OK, waterworks time, seriously. My dad could never admit to being proud of me, it would put him on less than an iron footing in everyone else’s eyes. Heteronormativity is just fact to many homophobic leaning straights, like Mike’s little brother.

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