the dance

Was Lil Mama Hating on the Trans Community? Or Just Making an Obvious Observation?

Ugh, more anti-LGBT sentiment from America’s dance reality shows? Well, maybe. First So You Think You Can Dance judge Nygel Lythgoe makes some snide remarks about two men (one straight, one gay) dancing together during auditions. Now MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew is picking up the slack.

During this week’s routines, troupe Vogue Evolution took some heat from judge Lil Mama, who’s been supporting the group all season. Leiomy Maldonado, a MTF transgender dancer in Vogue Evolution, was the focus of Lil Mama’s criticism: “Leiomy, your behavior, come on. It’s unacceptable. 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.”

The comments upset trans activist Ashley Love, who took to Facebook — horrors! — to declare it was “so sad that Lil Mama degraded trans people last night.”

Or … was Lil Mama just advising Maldonado that, if she’s going to become a lady, she must act like one? Sounds less like transphobia and more like reinforcing gender stereotypes. Which are alive and well, hallelujah!

UPDATE: Lil Mama has issued an apology.