Sierra Mannie, ‘Dear White Gay Men’ Author Defends Article On CNN – VIDEO

Screenshot 2014-07-12 02.41.28

University of Mississippi senior Sierra Mannie appeared on CNN Newsroom to discuss her article Dear White Gays: Stop Stealing Black Female Culture that TIME Magazine republished earlier this week. In a conversation with host Don Lemon, a gay black man, and comedian H. Alan Scott, a gay white man, Mannie defended her piece, pointing out that she was chiefly concerned with appropriation of expressly black, female culture.

“I wasn’t talking about gay behavior, or like this idea that certain things are gay.” Mannie explained. “What I’m talking about are stereotypical black behaviors–coming up to me and calling me Shanaynay, or trying to talk to me when my hair was natural, that’s different.”

Scott, who penned an oppositional response to Mannie in Thought Catalog, took the Mississippi student to task on those points in her piece he felt were reductive and belittling to gay men.

“Culturally we have a right to communicate in ways that is not offensive.” Scott asserted. “We have to acknowledge the historical context here that many of the mannerisms that you spoke of in your article actually come from gay culture like Paris Is Burning, like Boys in the Band.”

Lemon, whose track record of discussing race on his program has left much to be desired in the past, split the difference between the two writers and elucidated one of Mannie’s more controversial statements.

“I know that there is a similarity in [gays, transgender, and questioning] people being discriminated against.” Lemon asserted. “It’s not the same as being an African American.”

Watch the full segment AFTER THE JUMP



  1. jason MacBride says

    This woman’s writing is a warning about what happens when you extrapolate too much from far too little evidence.

    CNN is a warning about what happens when a so-called news channel can’t decide whether it’s business model is TMZ or the repulsive Fox News.

  2. Acronym Jim says

    “Appropriate.” You keep using that word. I don’t think that word means what you think it means./Inigo Montoya

    Appropriate: take (something) for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission.

    Nobody is “taking” anything from Ms. Mannie. She still has her “expressly black, female culture.” Every instance I’ve seen of gay white males expressing themselves in the way of, or stating that they are strong black women, it has been a form of emulation.

    Ms. Mannie has apparently never heard the expression “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

  3. Chris says

    ““I know that there is a similarity in [gays, transgender, and questioning] people being discriminated against.” Lemon asserted. “It’s not the same as being an African American.””

    Is he trying to say that when it comes to discrimination in America today, some group has it worse than Gays? What an idiot.

  4. Bernie says

    I think this is much ado about nothing! There are plenty of other more important and relevant issues than what Ms. Mannie wrote about….I am not sure what Ms. Mannie is really concerned about, but what she writes does not warrant anything to be worried about

  5. Acronym Jim says

    Who may or may not be more oppressed is irrelevant. This isn’t a competition. The goal is to end ALL oppression. If one group’s civil rights are in jeopardy, everybody’s civil rights are potentially in jeopardy.

  6. will says

    Does she really think that we non-blacks have to “experience the ugliness of the black experience and systematic racism” to appropriate a few black mannerisms (that may have come from gay culture in the first place?). If I see a straight black woman camping and acting like a gay man, do I get to say that she cannot mimic us until she fully and honestly appreciates the specific prejudice of the historical gay experience? Nobody owns a copyright on a culture. The black family in the 1961 movie “A Raisin in the Sun” moves into an all-white suburb. Are they appropriating white culture by mimicing it? Kitchen with the modern appliances, backyard for Mama to plant her garden, and far way from the noisy black ghetto in Chicago? Black women straightening their hair — is this appropriating another’s culture and destroying their own?

    This black woman gives the impression that she’s not dealing with her own issues: she professionally offended, she’s surly, and she appears to be taking out some undefined problems on gay men. She nor any culture “owns” behavoral mannerisms. It’s an open border.

  7. oncemorefeeling says

    She’s an idiot and Lemon continues to be a disappointment.

    You can originate a culture, cultivate it and perpetuate it, but you can’t own it. That’s not how the world — and reality — works. The moment two cultures meet, they influence each other and the longer they’re together, the more they influence each other.

    The end.

  8. dcspdrcr says

    Yes they have already posted. White people just don’t get it. If you had to live as a Black person for six months you might comprehend what is being stated by Ms. Mannie and Lemon. Yes LGBTQ people(We) are discriminated against, assaulted, etc….but unless the people doing the discriminating know you are LBGTQ you generally get a pass. Imagine being Black and LBGTQ. Black people don’t get a pass….we cant take off the melanin in our skin….everyone can see it from jump. But why do we keep trying to explain things to white people who are born into privilege in the USA just because of there skin tone, unless the privilege is taken away (people finding out you are LBGTQ) they refuse to acknowledge a problem exists.

  9. ratbastard says

    Pretty ironic; I’m afraid this lady is a walking, breathing stereotype of the ultra-sensitive, in-your-face, angry black woman. Other posters have gone into it in greater detail, so I’ll just stop here, except to say this: black people ARE NOT systematically discriminated against in the U.S. In fact, there are multiple examples of laws in place for many decades (40-50 years) that allow legal discrimination against others in black people’s favor. There is ZERO basis in fact to claim black people (or other ‘oppressed’ minorities as determined by ‘progressives’) are discriminated against. That is not to say some groups aren’t legally discriminated against, but they aren’t based on skin color or if your last name is Garcia. Certainly, homosexuals are legally discriminated against. Anyone who has lost out on a job, school placement, etc. because they weren’t part of the desired social engineering quota (or ‘benchmark’) was and is legally, systematically discriminated against. These are just some examples.

  10. Tre says

    @DCSPDRRCR – wrong. It’s one thing to be discriminated against by society. It’s a completely different thing to be discriminated against by your own family. Last timebI checked, black youth aren’t disowned by their parents and kicked out of the house for being black.

  11. James says

    She’s hitting a nerve, that’s all. Gay men (I’m one) are very touchy about the whole drag queen thing (not me though), because deep down they know that drag queens are an embarrassment and historical detritus. Drag queens (and I’m not speaking of transvestites here, but specifically am referring to show biz drag queens) are nothing but gender minstrels. They will go the way of blackface.

  12. dcspdrcr says

    @Tre….please stay on topic. Ms. Mannie was not writing about interactions with immediate family. Which is a whole other discussion. We(society) cannot control what your family does…that is personal….but in public interaction(society) the level needs to be raised to where ALL are treated equally (with no privilege because you are white).

  13. ratbastard says

    Tell me how black people are legally discriminated against. How? As a group they aren’t, and in fact have laws in place that discriminate against others in their favor. There are examples in education, employment, housing,etc. If anybody is ‘privileged’ legally as a group it’s black people. Homosexuals, including the dreaded White Male, are legally discriminated against. This is a simple fact.

    I guess the old adage about repeating a lie or falsehood often enough a lot of people don’t question it is true.

  14. dcspdrcr says

    @ratbastard you are using your own statement….’I guess the old adage about repeating a lie or falsehood often enough a lot of people don’t question it is true.’

    Of course there are no laws, anymore, but that does not change the stealth racism (privilege) that still goes on all to often. And considering that race is a ‘made up’ construct to divide people and used to control … would think that people would SEE that by now…but those who have the privilege like that privilege, and fight mightily to keep it, albeit on the stealth tip these days…meaning no obvious laws on the books.

  15. Allan says

    I’ll tell you what. When I was in high school, the only friends I had – being a skinny, effeminate white gay male – were BLACK GIRLS ! And to me they’re not “Black,” but my friends. I like Black Culture, so sue me. I never stole anything.

  16. ratbastard says


    There is no cure or solution that would satisfy your problem as you see it. A society can only do do much. If it’s as bad as you claim it is, than maybe we should have seperate societies, countries, etc.? Don’t expect non-black people to endlessly walk on eggshells around black people because you perceive ‘racism’ everywhere. That’s more of an issue some black people have to deal with in their minds. There are MANY very successful black people, and this would not be the case if most non-black people were secretly or otherwise ‘racist’.

  17. dcspdrcr says

    @Allan…..I appreciate your statement …and Ms. Mannie is not speaking to you in her writing. I bet you didn’t go up to your black girlfriends in high school initially with a whole lot of stereotypical SASS and mouth. You got to know them first and apparently they accepted you for who you are. I think Ms. Mannie is wanting the same in her experience.

  18. Anon1852 says

    I refuse to acknowledge either Lenon or this author’s validity to speak on this issue, or even to engage it seriously.

    Competing in an ‘oppression olympics’ is, flatly, beneath my dignity.

    So are bad articles written by 20 year old’s based off their long lasting experience in college.


    I didn’t steal or appropriate anything from white, black, male, female or LGTBQ culture, you know why Ms. Mannie? Because I own everything baby!

  20. dcspdrcr says

    No one asked white people to walk on eggshells and clearly they don’t. And no one stated that ‘racism’ is everywhere. The laughable thing is that most white folk don’t even know when they are being insensitive/racist….because they have no reference point due to privilege. No one is asking for separate societies or countries, so stop putting out false solutions that are not feasible or reasonable. White society(really WE all) need(s) to examine (Privilege) and what comes from it….who has it and who doesn’t and why. Again ‘race’ is a construct to divide and control….most white people in my experience do not know this fact and refuse to acknowledge it.

  21. Mike says

    Quit giving this hater time and energy. She had an opportunity to speak about the subject in a thoughtful, intelligent manner but failed miserably.

  22. ratbastard says


    Sorry, you’re full of caca except for one point, ‘race’ as a construct to divide, that I agree with. Those on the far left and far right use this tatic, ‘ethnic’ and race-based politicians use this tactic to maintain the ‘ghetto’ mentality, status quo, and their power, and of course marketers use it in advertising.

  23. Red says

    What rubs salt in the wounds is that Sierra Mannie had the opportunity to review her criticisms, and instead of adjusting, dug in her heels deeper. She never acknowledged her loathsome ESSENTIALISM.

    NO GROUP appreciates being condescended to like children, or like one monolithic group with identical characteristics. ‘Not-for-you! It’s-not-yours!’ ‘I don’t care what black male you’ve been bottoming for’… Oh all gay whites are bottoming for blacks?!

    Yeah, being black ISN’T like being gay. Is being not hired, or fired, or is having a real estate agent refuse to serve you, or be denied housing, or being denied entry into a school or public pool or restaurant, or being denied equal relationship status by society, or being denied disaster relief, or any number of things, legal against blacks?! No. But it IS legal to do those things to gays.
    But what’s supposed to make it all better according to some black and some NOMs posing as blacks? Gays can go in the closet apparently! That’s supposed to make everything equal! Well guess what – the closet is toxic.
    And another thing. Blacks CAN go in the closet. It’s called MAKEUP! So for any a**hole who says to go into the closet to gays, put on some caucasian makeup!

    And if we’re going to harp more on cultural appropriation; maybe black girls can stop making their hair blond or straight. Also, give up the [jungle] and [dance hall] music as they are derivative of white techno and white synthesizers. I could do without hearing “‘Na ‘ere ‘dis” again…

  24. McMike says

    She’s got one thing right. Being black is not like being gay. There is no chance of you losing your friends, being rejected by your family and being told by your church you’re going to hell because your are black.

    When its black male youth, and not gay male youth, who make up over half of youth suicides then, yes, being black will be far different.

    And, oh yeah, the day gay men need to stop “stealing” black female culture is the day she stops stealing white male culture.

  25. McMike says

    She’s got one thing right. Being black is not like being gay. There is no chance of you losing your friends, being rejected by your family and being told by your church you’re going to hell because your are black.

    When its black male youth, and not gay male youth, who make up over half of youth suicides then, yes, being black will be far different.

    And, oh yeah, the day gay men need to stop “stealing” black female culture is the day she stops stealing white male culture.

  26. Amell says

    Many people of color hold that anyone who can pass for white doesn’t know what it is like to be discriminated against based on skin color. Because, if they were to keep their mouths closed and sit quietly, no one would’ve made them sit at the back of the bus etc. They’re assertion is “you can hide.” Skin color is something they say, from which you can not hide.

    I suppose her message is directed at non-black gays who adopt mannerisms from what many see as stereotypical black culture and not only try to relate to her but by their usage of the behaviors imply they know what her experience has been. Some people of any group hold their experience to what appears to others outside of that experience as a kind of self-pitying martyrdom. They might as well wear a t-shirt that says “you’ll never know what my hell my life has been, unless you’re me. So don’t EVEN talk to me…EVER.” At least to the ones outside the experience, that is how it appears.

    However, one finds identification wherever one will find it. For years, the more effeminate gay men found solace and succor in what we’ve called the mighty bitches, typified by Joan Crawford, Bette Davis. What they understood was, “these were women of power.” In the latter half of the previous century, the stereotype of the black woman, completely brought to a point of anger where she “reads” everyone around her, saying things people wish they could say, has been co-opted by a lot of gay men. People find this offensive because of the things said, considering it rude and uncouth. Others are offended because they perceive it as being mocked and made fun. Still others find it offensive because as some say, “you steal my thunder.”

    But behavior does not belong to anyone. It is co-opted, mocked, turned on its head and amalgamated into other forms of behavior. How people act is a purely conscious choice, and how well they adopt those behaviors.

    While her article brings something up to discuss concerning her experience as a black woman and how she feels belittled by others who are not black women co-optting behavior she feels is soley her demesne, unfortunately for her, gay men are unlikely to stop saying and acting in ways that she feels are disingenuous and unauthentic.

  27. Honesty says

    You know what? Shut the hell up. This woman’s personal experiences and prejudices all of a sudden compels her to frame an entire group of people of “stealing” from her? Newsflash, I don’t know who her friends are down in back-sweat Mississippi, but just because someone says “hey girl” to you doesn’t mean an entire group of people want to be you. We are all people and we all portray how we feel and what makes us comfortable. To say some people “act black,” “act white,” “act feminine” is pushing race and gender stereotypes that we as a culture need to grow away from. Growing up, black kids would say “stop acting white” to me for reading, doing well in school, or speaking a certain way. It was as offensive and idiotic as this woman’s article. To be honest, a lot of this talk comes from Ru Paul and other campy gay figures who like to coin phrases. She needs to expand her tiny circle of friends. 

  28. dcspdrcr says

    LOLOL….Columbus(ing)….again. White techno and white synthesizers……really?…..and MAKEUP….even more of a laugh. No one said for us (LBGTQ) to go in the closet…..just when someone see’s you initially they don’t know what your sexuality is unless you tell them, but they do know what ‘color/race’ (heinous construct) your are(their perception)….they don’t ask. But maybe they should ask, because I could claim that I’m white(actually I could, but its all about definitions) but again….the perception of others will operate as though I’m black just based on appearance…again leading to this foolish construct of race. We all are of the humane race ….as defined.

  29. ratbastard says

    I learned a new bullshyt word;Columbusing.

    I think the point is she ‘steals’ so-called cultural attitudes and habits also, this is what happens in a MULTICULTURAL society. As for mocking people, no one has a monopoly on that. What do you think the word ‘honkey’ refers to, in referencevto white people? Just one of many examples.

  30. Robert says

    First Time, now CNN, what next, Fox News? Oh, I know, TMZ and then The Blaze!

    She keeps yappin, but I don’t think she understands what she is saying. I just love it when we can coin a new phrase.

    Black Privilege. Ah, so nice to see this rare creature in the wild.

  31. stranded says

    I’m a white gay guy and I can understand her point of view. That has to get old having people think they’re “relating” to you as a cliche. If black people kept coming up to me and doing a “just Jack” imitation I’d want to speak up too. This is an important conversation worth having, though Lemon and CNN are hardly the ones to do it justice.

    The ghetto girl imitation is the mammy of our time. Expressing affection for that stereotype may seem like a tribute of strong black women by white people, but it’s a hollow gesture and I’ve seen it done a lot by white gay dudes. It’s embarrassing to watch.

    However, that being said, I think her point could have been made by addressing the men who’ve done this to her in an open letter format or some other means that doesn’t lump all gay white men together in such a way. Flat out telling people what they can and can’t say is not effective and perhaps her youth is part of that. There are good points in her article and there are also valid points in the counter argument. Instead of automatically denouncing her (as some are doing) I suggest that this is something we can debate as a chance for healing and not division.

    White and other racial cultures have been incorporating black slang for centuries. It’s where we get terms like “cool” and “24/7.” All cultures derive elements from other places. But this is different. This is embracing a stereotype without accountability and expecting someone who’s affected by that stereotype every moment of their lives to fall in line and suck it up so that someone who’s never faced it can pretend like it’s common ground. Listen to what she’s saying with some empathy and if you have more to offer or counter arguments, it can be expressed without automatically shutting down when she makes her points.

  32. Holy Heiffer says

    Holy heiffers! The example she cites (Martin Lawrence’s ‘Shenaynay Jenkins’) is an example of a HETEROSEXUAL BLACK man creating a female ghetto ‘hood-rat character. THAT doesn’t bother her, but some gay guy’s hand gestures represent ‘cultural appropriation’ to her?

    This is a blatantly racist, homophobic attack, made obvious by her hypocrisy. Scratch the surface and I can guaran-goddamn-tee you that she’s a fundamlentalist evangelical who finds man-on-man butt sex icky. Scratch a little further and you’ll find that she has an inbred resentment toward white people, and no small animus toward men.

    This self-entitled heiffer is the unfortuante poster child argument for ending affirmative action programs–an upper/upper-middle-class legistlatively privileged African-American rushing to cut to the front of the line with her hand out, so she can then turn around and discriminate against other minority groups. She is of particular danger to African-Americans of lower socio-economic station, who will lose opportunities because of pigs like her crowding the trough, while doing NOTHING for people not born into privilege like her.

  33. Red says

    @DCSPDRCR “.really?” – Yeah, REALLY. If Sierra can talk about BLACK this or that, I will do the same. As far as I’m concerned, blacks can have ‘their’ this or that back so long as they ditch all the WHITE stuff they needed to make this or that in the first place. Ideas, memes, etc are built through accretion after all; blacks don’t live in a vacuum.

    If blacks think the closet is such an awesome and safe place for gays, and those same blacks don’t feel safe themselves, then yeah PUT ON SOME CAUCASIAN MAKEUP and be done with it! I will NEVER be told again by a POC or a NOM posing as a POC that I can ‘pass’ and ‘be ok’ if I’m careful enough, without telling them that if THEY’RE careful enough with makeup application they can be SAFE in the closet at white too!

    What’s laughable, DCSPDRCR, is that you read more like a NOM operative than a genuinely offended person defending blacks from all the EVIL EVIL gays stealing all their s***!
    By the way, why is Sierra specifically going after GAY white males, and not white males, or whites in general, unless she has some sort of anti-gay animus that causes her to be offended by behaviors only when she sees VISIBLY gay people doing them. Hey, maybe if they were in the closet and ‘passing’ she wouldn’t have been offended in the first place!… >:-/

    Moreover, DCSPDRCR, what about her ESSENTIALISM and condescension to ALL gay white males like they’re all the same and can be talked down to like children?! If you’re going to address me you have to address that too unless you’re just going to troll and cherry-pick what you want to weakly rebuttal…

  34. Ribbed Or Unribbed says

    @Holy Heiffer: I agree.

    It’s her way of saying, “Thanks, but no thanks. You (gay white men) may identify with the strength of Black women, may even ADMIRE us, but I want no part of you, and don’t want to be identified with you.”

    It’s just another form of social mobility currency for her. She correctly calculates that she can ingratiate herself with the anti-gay White majority in Mississippi, thereby further easing her ascent up the social/professional ladder.

    Unfortunately, what she doesn’t realize is that the anti-Gay movement is condemned to failure, and when she is of no further use to the anti-Gay, White, Christianist majority, they will dispose of her like a used condom. She is an Uncle Tom, wrapped up in an African slave-catcher box, tied with a big Judas bow. Total sellout opportunist.

  35. Jeton Ademaj says

    look, what she calls “appropriation” is just rudeness…i don’t walk up to Asians squinting my eyes, i dont walk up to Black people doing my best “Leroy The Hustla 1977″, and i dont put on a Yiddish accent in Williamsburg.

    beyond that, her thesis is idiocy. and Don Lemon is still a hack.

    i will never stop appropriating any and every culture in any and every way i choose to. she can step.

    btw Red, great posts!

  36. dcspdrcr says

    You know….RIF. Since ‘most’ can read but ‘some’ cannot comprehend. According to a few posters Ms. Mannie stated ‘ALL white gay men’…..again RIF. And she never, (nor I) said anything about putting people (back)in a closet. Some people continually conflate one issue with other issues that are not connected…but again its back to comprehension and acknowledgment.

    Again the ‘makeup’ piece is just ludicrous.

    The only trolls here are RED and Ratbastard…actually they are one.

  37. dcspdrcr says

    You know….RIF. Since ‘most’ can read but ‘some’ cannot comprehend. According to a few posters Ms. Mannie stated ‘ALL white gay men’…..again RIF. And she never, (nor I) said anything about putting people (back)in a closet. Some people continually conflate one issue with other issues that are not connected…but again its back to comprehension and acknowledgment.

    Again the ‘makeup’ piece is just ludicrous.

    The only trolls here are RED and Ratbastard…actually they are one.

  38. Red says

    Hey JETON ADEMAJ, thanks!

    @DCSPDRCR “RIF. Since ‘most’ can read but ‘some’ cannot comprehend.” – One finger pointing out and three pointing right back at you. In an open letter to “white gays”, the ALL is implied.

    ‘[I never] said anything about putting people (back)in a closet.’… “…unless the people doing the discriminating know you are LBGTQ you generally get a pass.” – Don’t think people with gay sensibility won’t know what you’re insinuating. I’m just the one calling it out.

    “Some people continually conflate one issue with other issues…” – Again, three fingers pointing back at you, DCSPDRCR.

    I’m not Ratbastard, but I’m thinking you’re one of the “RICKs” here.
    Way to continue willfully ignoring Sierra’s ESSENTIALISM and obvious anti-gay animus, even after many commenters here have pointed it out so explicitly. RIF after all…

    And no, ‘the makeup piece’ is APT! If Zombie boy can hide his tattoos, if a brown Sutan can become a pale blue Raja, if Ru can be a white Barbie, if Detox can go gray-scale like she stepped out of Pleasantville, if two black comedians can play white women, if POC can use complexion makeup to completely change their complexion, YEAH, anti-gay blacks who think the closet is just for gays can think again. As I said, NEVER AGAIN.

  39. antisaint says

    Seems like STRANDED is the only one who really gets what’s happening here. She would have done better to make analogies to similar forms of latent, racist behavior.

    I’m a black male, and although I don’t sound what one might consider ‘sterotypical’ when I talk, there are times when white people who I hear talking to other white people casually, will then turn and address me with a mild black affectation in their voice. They might call me “brotha” or offer a fist-pound start using contractions and double-negatives in their speech as though they think that I will better understand them if they speak this way. They don’t speak this way to other white people, only to me. This is something that has happened all my life.

    And similarly, I have seen white gay men address both me, and other black people with a ‘ghetto girl’ voice when they were not talking like that with their white friends only moments beforehand.

    Both situations are the same thing, and I don’t think either one is really appropriate. What makes it insulting is that a person is assuming, based on the color of my skin, that they need to ‘adjust’ their speech to relate to me (again, I don’t even talk like that, soo…?) or throw in a ‘girlfriend!’ to some black girl they’re talking to as if that levels the playing field or breaks the ice somehow. I don’t believe there is malicious intent behind it, but it is misguided and ignorant, and a little bit racist, yes.

    It would be the same thing, as STRANDED said (I think it was him) if someone put on a gay voice when they talked to gay men. It’s offensive.

  40. jarago says

    And we are wasting time on this non issue because? American culture is made up of many influences racial, ethnic, sexual, religous ect- she seems to be playing the racial victim card and in this case makes no sense. Sashay away sister

  41. Sean Maloney says

    Well, DCSpider or whatever your handle is, perhaps Ms. Mannie should be calling out all white “privileged” people instead of just excoriating a specific group. Otherwise, she comes across as just another shrill homophobe.

  42. Sean Maloney says

    “Race is a construct to divide and control,” according to DCSpidey. Well, so is sexual identity. As propagated by NOM and the rest of their ilk which Ms. Mannie, as will soon be revealed, is a well-paid plant for.

  43. Transgressor says

    I think a few people are straight-up nailing this girl to the wall. This is pure homophobia on her part. Does it bother her for white boys to let their pants sag? Or for white kids to listen to and emulate rappers?

    She is absolutely saying that she doesn’t identify with the cultural stereotype that some gay men imitate. She doesn’t like the stereotype either, for that matter, because in her estimation it makes black women look bad. She’s a pure white bougie aspirant, and she doesn’t want those obnoxious white gay men reminding people of the stereotype that she’s trying to shed.

    Beyond that, Mannie clearly wants to assert that HER suffering as a black female is incomparably greater than the suffering from discrimination that white gay men feel. This is a silly ‘suffer-off’.

    I think that in some cases, gay men DO genuinely identify with the raw deal they see women, blacks and particularly black women get. In other cases that I’ve observed, gay white guys actually exist in a subculture with black women. And because there is no sexual tension, they do come to regard them as peers not sexual targets. (In the South, there are two cultural chasms at work: the sexual one, and the racial one. A white boy has ZERO sexual interest in a black girl, or vice versa. Whereas a white girl might get confused and start having romantic/sexual for a gay white boy, the black girl pretty much always sees him as a nice, funny guy who treats her well, and is generally fun to be around.)

    But when white gay men and black women befriend one another, there is often a GENUINE cultural exchange going on. And nobody is accusing black women of ‘fronting’ when they take on speech mannerisms or expressions that THEY appropriate from gay men.

    Mannie doesn’t make single legitimate point in the broader picture. The only thing that can be said is that she doesn’t like gay white men who remind her of her grandmother. Fair enough. Not sure I’d like a black guy remindming me of my grandmother either.

  44. Truther says

    Actually she didn’t defend anything. The idiot CNN anchor talked the whole time and never gave her a proper chance to make a further fool of herself. Which is obviously why he talked the whole time.

  45. Alexander says

    Ihave admired Don Lemon for years especially for coming out. I never thought in my life that he could offend me until now. His being out is still new. He got fanfare for it. I lost friends and my birth mom worries I am hellbound. This young woman’s racist and homophobic as well as sexually intrusive language calling all white gays bottoms for their black partners was rude and offensive. I felt burned.

  46. One Monkey says

    I think that a lot of more effeminate white gay men are attracted (not sexually) to black women, precisely because black women are more masculine compared to white women. It’s a medical fact that black women have higher levels of testosterone on the whole than white women do, which gives many black women a more masculine appearance. This Mannie woman is probably reacting at some level to that, intuiting that gay men are attracted to her precisely because of her more masculine appearance and demeanor.

    To me, she sounds like she herself has adopted white speech patterns, and by going to a university, she has bought into the white man’s “get an education” mentality. I bet you a lot of black women would accuse her of selling out, trying to escape her culture, and of sh!tting on her own people.

    This whole incident got way more attention that it deserved precisely because she is a privileged black woman with a platform (TIME magazine). But she’s gonna need a lot more intellectually developed argument before anyone takes her seriously in the future. Or as they say in my neighborhood, “One monkey don’t stop no show.”

  47. david says

    Ms. Mannie is not at expressing her thoughts in a manner that is inclusive nor is she able to hide well her homophobia. Between her eyes rolls and her smirking, she is not doing a good job of hiding her contempt. Sorry if that offends someone, but she should have been coached a tad bit better at hiding her nonverbals.

  48. wct says

    Ms. Mannie, good luck finding a corporate job upon graduation….this is gonna be found on every background check…and you’ll have some serious explaining to do during your final job interview.

  49. Zell says

    If I were a black woman, I would be offended that she is labeling ridiculous behaviors to be “black female behaviors.”

    If someone is coming up to her and speaking in a different voice and using mannerisms different from when they speak to other people, then yes, they should stop and she should be offended that they assume that is how she speaks and behaves. If she’s talking about how gay white guys act in general, she’s really out of bounds. What right does she have to tell other people how to act? I have some straight male friends who are somewhat effeminate; should I be offended that they’re appropriating “my culture?”

    Personally I think that gay men as a group tend to be a little sexist, stereotypically. But I don’t think they’re any more racist than straight people in general, and probably a little less.

    Also, I agree that some of the comments here are racist. But not everyone who disagrees with a black woman speaking her mind is necessarily being racist (or sexist). It is possible that she is simply wrong.

  50. Marginalized says

    She’s doing to white gay men EXACTLY the same thing that a lot of self-styled ‘masculine’ gay men do to transgendered persons. She rejects white gay men even though both gay men and black women both get discriminated against, but she doesn’t want to be associated with gay men. So she throws the race card trying to claim that the discrimination she suffers is worse. She’s rejecting a natural anti-discrimination ally. “I don’t WANT your support White Gay Male.”

    Same thing that the Ricks and the Ratbastards do when they try to delink the T from the LGB. “We’ve got ours, Trannies. You go get your own rights and equality.”

    Hateful, hateful people.

  51. elg says

    “Ms. Mannie, good luck finding a corporate job upon graduation….this is gonna be found on every background check…and you’ll have some serious explaining to do during your final job interview.”

    I was thinking the same thing. I will also add that Ms. Mannie is clearly homophobic.

    But some white gay men ARE “drawn” to black women with stereotypical “black woman mannerisms” such as being loud, aggressive, eye/neck rolling, etc. Black women who don’t fit the stereotype are rightly offended when approached by whites in this manner.

  52. emjayay says

    Last week she had straightned white lady style hair. Either she cut it off in favor of short straightened white lady style hair, or took off her white lady style wig.

  53. garryo says

    Only if you’re, say, 25 or younger, does Sierra’s lament have any resonance. It helps if you’ve been raised in a culture and an era that affirms every thought you’ve ever had, especially all your notions about the big, serious things in life…

    For us older folks, though, well, I regret to say this, Sierra (et al), but you’re tiresome and, um… actually shallow. There are big, serious things in life to get worked up about, lots of them, but they don’t include gay white bois talkin like beeyatches. Sierra, give your weave a shake. You’re clearly smarter than that.

  54. World says

    “….if you’ve been raised in a culture and an era that affirms every thought you’ve ever had, especially all your notions about the big, serious things in life…”

    Dead on. The very start of the ‘interview’ when he asks her why she decided to write about this, and she immediately takes a defensive tone, pinches her lips together, and retorts “Because I experienced it!”

    As if her limited personal experience justifies her sounding off on a topic that is way beyond her depth and experience?

    She’s just another mouthy punk with a freshly-minted (and probably useless) college degree, squealing “Look at me, World! I’m a proud homophobe!”

    World ain’t impressed.

  55. Philippe says

    Her article is poorly communicated, but then again H. Alan Scott’s piece was equally as juvenile and puerile – yet he does not seem to have attracted the ire of any of the commenters here (who are ever so concerned about how articulate this black college student is).

    Asking a black woman about her natural hair or speaking to people of colour in a way which you would not to your white peers is offensive. Period. It’s not a sign of solidarity because we live in a “post-race” world. Only white people hoist up the delusion of “post-race”.

    I thought this was commonly understood, but it seems a small fraction of our community like to believe they are immune from criticism as they are also members of an oppressed minority class. If a person came up to you with a highly exagerrated caricature of “Just Jack”, you would be offended regardless of whether you believe it to be representative of us as a whole or not. What if they then justified themselves by saying it is flattery via emulation, and that it’s all free game because society is just one big ol’ melting pot?

  56. A CrossFit Gay Guy says

    The “female black” is killing me each time I see this article. No one suggested to her “black female” for proper adjective placement.

  57. mark says

    As an ex-member of the gay men’s feminist “male shaming” collective of San Francisco I feel the author has a point.

    Yet the last time I checked my male privilege someone stole my identity and I woke up in one of those no-tell hotels with a guy named Lebron whispering something like “Keisha” or “Chita” in my ear.

    Lebron was handsome and all, and a gentleman too, yet over breakfast we both got the distinct feeling he’d be happier with someone else.

    Later when I got my I.D. back…turns out it was taken by one of my exes from the collective playing tricks on me…very funny Bradley!

  58. Drewboo says

    The fact is that Don Lemon waited until his 40’s to come out. If being gay is a walk in the park compared to being black, then why did he wait ’til over half of his life was over.

    Secondly, thank you Mr Lemon for educating us dumb white gay men about “columbusing” – love to be taught things about what it is to be a minority.

    I feel sorry more than anything else for Miss Mannie – her future career as a journalist is not looking good. I’m sure being black in Mississippi is difficult to say the least. I doubt their educational resources are quite up to par and I also doubt she has much access to actual gay culture. She obviously did not do her research. Lemon really needs to show neutrality as an anchor in this situation – he is digging himself into a hole.

  59. StudioTodd says

    I learn something new every time I come here…

    I never knew that white gay men were acting black and making fun.

    All this time, I thought they were acting camp and having fun.

    Black women don’t own “Guuurl!” They didn’t coin “Miss Thang.” Just because it sounds natural coming out of their mouth holes doesn’t mean it’s their property. And it doesn’t mean others can’t use it.

    They may have, however, given the world “fuhrealdoe?”–and for that, we should give credit where it’s due.

  60. Kevin says

    She’s using “appropriate” correctly, assholes. Also, she’s 100% right.

    Two of the ways in which my community lets me down are 1.) our inability to admit when we’re wrong, and 2.) the disgusting racism. The drag queen “shtick” racism (which takes us far from the diverse tone of the drag balls of the 80s), the Grindr racism (you know what I’m talking about) and the APPROPRIATION of black female culture.

    Fortunately, I see hope in the millennial generation and younger.

  61. Chitown Kev says

    caricature is not the same thing as appropriating someone else’s culture.

    and caricature, irony-laden as it often is, can often be offensive and does not travel well across cultural boundaries.

    She’s right about that, even if that’s not what she said, it is what she meant and she needs to write much clearer.

    In the meantime, Miss Thing needs to check her own privilege.

    I have heard no commentator (gay or otherwise) mention that if a queeny white gay boy in Mississippi decides to be “all of that” in a store or a restaurant, by Mississippi law, they can be refused service.

  62. Chitown kev says


    “And she never, (nor I) said anything about putting people (back)in a closet.”

    Oh yes she did.

    “What is extremely unfairly denied you because of your sexuality could float back to you, if no one knew that you preferred the romantic and sexual company of men over women.”

    “The closet” is inclusive of that comment.

  63. says

    White gay men need to realize that while they can be oppressed because they are gay they still benefit from whiteness and white privilege so while they can draw from other oppressed groups struggles, they will never understand and know true systemic racism. Also just because there are laws banning discrimination based on race, it doesn’t mean it’s gone. Study after study shows that minorities, specifically blacks, still get shafted in different aspects of society like housing, job discrimination, etc. Just because their are laws on the books banning it doesn’t mean it stopped the racist from being racist.

  64. Daniel says

    I really want to think Lemon is a journalist, but ever since he was talking about alien abductions or supernatural intervention when that plane went missing I just can’t.

  65. Chitown Kev says


    But the converse to that is that black straight people need to realize that they have heterosexual privilege as well as religious privilege (and chances are there is some religious privilege going on in that situation).

    it’s not as if being gay “cancels out” your white privilege and it’s not as if being black “cancels out” your heterosexual privilege.

  66. StillmarriedinCA says

    Thank you Chitown Kev. I would add to Derrick that we know there is still racism even though it is illegal…you would really have to be an idiot (or Republican…but that’s redundant) not to know that. We know that there will still be homophobia if we get the anti-discrimination laws changed to include LGBT citizens. But it would be NICE to have the same legal protections that people of color have. That’s what we are fighting for-equal treatment under the LAW. In that respect, gays (even white gays!) are worse off. And, as someone said earlier, until straight black teenagers commit suicide because they are black, or are kicked out of their families because they are black, they don’t really know what it is like to be oppressed in the way that gay people are oppressed. I freely admit that I don’t truly know what it is like to be black in this country–but she has some nerve assuming she knows how EASY it is to be gay and white in this country. She needs to understand that she can’t make assumptions about that based on what she thinks she sees anymore than I can.

  67. Ebony & Ivory says

    I can just imagine someone of my grandmother’s generation saying to her:

    “I RESENT that you are attempting to appropriate White culture in the form of speech mannerisms. Girl, you are NOT White, you will never BE White, so you will never understand what it’s LIKE to be White, or to enjoy White privilege. So why are you talking White? Why don’t you talk like the Black people I’m used to hearing? With non-standard pronunciation, grammar and lots of ghetto slang? Stop trying to be something you’re not and never will be. Talk BLACK!”

    This could come from either a White OR a Black person.

  68. Ebony & Ivory says

    I can just imagine someone of my grandmother’s generation saying to her:

    “I RESENT that you are attempting to appropriate White culture in the form of speech mannerisms. Girl, you are NOT White, you will never BE White, so you will never understand what it’s LIKE to be White, or to enjoy White privilege. So why are you talking White? Why don’t you talk like the Black people I’m used to hearing? With non-standard pronunciation, grammar and lots of ghetto slang? Stop trying to be something you’re not and never will be. Talk BLACK!”

    This could come from either a White OR a Black person.

  69. Derrick from Philly says

    “…and lots of ghetto slang?”

    I understand the point of your comment, but just like Ms Mannie’s it’s kind of short sighted.

    If you’re talking about your grandmother’s generation, then you’re talking about a time when many Black folks worked hard to speak standard English.

    My grandparents’ cousins down in Florida went to historically Black colleges/universities. They spoke beautifully (especially with those Southern accents–you know, like Maya Angelou). The ones in Georgia…well, they tried (LOL)
    When we got up here in Philly…yeah, that’s when the “ghetto slang” came in.

  70. says

    I’ve been thinking about this article for the better part of the weekend. I agree with a lot of Ms. Mannie’s arguments. I’ve seen my fare share of gay men engage in racist objectification of black women. I’ve been guilty of it, although I’m learning from my mistakes. That said, I have a few critiques of what she lays out and how she says what she says.

    First, I am uncomfortable with her reductive suggestion that gay men can hide their sexuality. Some can pass, others–MANY others–cannot. I wasn’t out of the closet until my freshman year of college. I’d like Ms. Mannie to ask me how often I was brutalized in middle school and high school for homosexuality she thinks is easy for gay men to “hide.” At the heart of her argument, whether she realizes it or not, is the homophobic suggestion that sexuality is not an immutable trait like race or sex (which she repeatedly confuses with gender) because gay men, in particular, can hide their sexuality. I don’t think this misstep necessarily dilutes the thrust of her argument about racism among white, gay men, but HER unchecked homophobia doesn’t do much to bolster her credibility as a critical-cultural thinker.

    Second, cultural appropriation works both ways. Actually, scratch that. Cultural appropriation in a postmodern world runs in EVERY direction. Mannie writes, “…our music, our dances, our slang, our clothing, our hairstyles. All of these things are rounded up, whitewashed and repackaged for your consumption.” This happens to every subculture. I invite Ms. Mannie to come to West Hollywood on a Friday night and see what’s happened to one of the country’s most celebrated gay neighborhoods. I’d love to see her witness the bachelorette parties, and white women and women of color yelping gay slang. Maybe Ms Mannie can simply turn on an episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta or Married to Medicine to see how gay male culture–in all its colors and varieties–has impacted the communication habits of African American women. Maybe Ms. Mannie can visit gay neighborhoods across the country and notice how heterosexual men and women–of all colors and varieties–poach gay space. I’d love to say that, in the US, people hijack the styles of gay actors and musicians but sexual minorities are rarely given a seat at the table, and when we see gay characters on TV or film, they’re more often than not portrayed by heterosexual men and women.

    Next, it’s odd that, in Ms. Mannie’s opening paragraph, she cites the gender-inverting performances of heterosexual black men to make a point about personal encounters she has with gay white men. Reading her opening paragraph, I’m reminded of Madea; and, although I’ve never heard any person–black or white–mention “Shanequa around the way,” I watched Martin Lawrence lampoon black women as Shanaynay.

    Finally, let’s not start a talk about rights and opportunities in this country. There’s no point in comparing oppressions, so I won’t go down that path. But it might be instructive to remember that 70% of African Americans voters in California–one of the most liberal states in the union–voted against marriage equality. This is not to say that black men and women are responsible for that travesty. African American cultural critics rightfully argued that the statistic had more to do with faith than race. I only bring up Proposition 8 here because I see many pro-8 presuppositions echoed in Ms. Mannie’s piece: 1) Gays can “hide” their sexuality. 2) Gay men steal. They steal black men away from African American women (e.g., “for which black male you’ve been bottoming”) and they steal culture. 4) Gay, white men bottoming for black men is dangerous, particularly for African American women.

    Most of all, I see a homophobic critique and request for self-reflexivity without the author engaging in the same sort of self-prodding she demands of gay men. She repeatedly conflates whiteness with gay whiteness (e.g., “Nothing about whiteness will get a white person in trouble the way blackness can get a black person shot down in his tracks.”) and rarely engages the intersectionality of white homosexuality as it relates to other cultures. How, for example, has the association of white and black drag in, say, Paris is Burning or just about any gay bar in America, resulted in cultural hybridity, or a co-mingling of disenfranchised and marginalized communities? When I hear black female characters on TV talking about a “kiki,” I know the source and it’s not heterosexual black women.

    In my day-to-day life as a critical-cultural professor at a university in southern California, I hear people say to their peers, “Check your privilege,” as they take false pride in all “the strong truth tea [they THINK they] just spilled.” The problem is that self-reflexivity runs IN BOTH DIRECTIONS. And if you’re pointing your finger squarely at one historically marginalized community without taking a SINGLE MOMENT to implicate yourself, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.

    Final thought: Do I think Ms Mannie should be castigated for her words. No! So much of what she says is important. It’s telling that the white, gay response I’ve seen is largely peppered with words like “heifer” to describe a remarkably bright undergraduate. Many of the Towleroad comments in response to her piece make me sick to my stomach. By and large, the gay community has a significant problem with racism and many, MANY gay men objectify and belittle African American women. Likewise, the African American community by and large has a homophobia problem. This is how cultural hegemony thrives. Pit groups against one another and guess who wins? Not gays and not African Americans or other people of color. The only way out of this bear trap is to work together, to implicate our own communities, to point the finger in multiple directions–most importantly, to point the finger back at ourselves, to investigate our OWN privilege.

  71. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “But it might be instructive to remember that 70% of African Americans voters in California….”

    No. The Gay & Lesbian Task Force tells us that the true percentage was 54% to 56%. But, yet, Black Californians were singled out for blame.

    I don’t like to think about that anymore.

  72. Get Over It says

    This is what’s funny…most these people on this response wanna talk about tolerance. Wanna talk about appropriation. Wanna talk about privilege.

    And yet we live in a white dominated, male dominated, heterosexist context.

    So, basically, more than likely, any one of these responders has NO RIGHT talking about appropriation or privilege. And when someone rubs it in your face, you get angry.

    Get over it.

    She’s a college student who has sullied the credibility of TIME magazine even more because they published an opinion that exists in a context that is FAR from reality (college). The hardest argument to make is that people shouldn’t marginalize you when the only evidence one has is the marginalization of another group.

    Most of you are grown ass men who can ignore this, and, frankly speaking, you need to be stronger.

  73. Chitown Kev says


    Then you are a black lesbian with (presumably) some economic privilege…although said black lesbian (or anyone else for that matter) could work in a deli near Wall Street.

  74. Markt says

    Great comments read. To all who said the comments were racist or sickening or whatever – they were merely real and never intentionally destructive. Personally I feel we should be proud of how intelligently and/or creatively the gay community spoke out here. A broad spectrum of insights were presented here and I’m proud. T
    o; Mark loved the male feminist “shaming” collective comment. Would love to read the novel/story when it’s done.

  75. Scott Rose says

    Please notice that in her TV interview, the anti-gay bigot said that one of her complaints is “trying to talk to me when my hair was natural.”

    She is a moron.

  76. Scott Rose says

    If I wrote an article from a point of view of supporting gay rights, but filled it with blatant anti-black bigotry, whatever I had to say about gay rights would be annulled by the disgracious display of anti-black bigotry.

    In her “essay,” Mannie packs in so much anti-gay bigotry, and bigotry directed against non-gender-conforming males — and then —

    In typical anti-gay bigot fashion, she behaves as though no gay person offended by her blatant anti-bigotry has any place to be offended.

    I suspect that her essay might be a hoax. Given her bad attitude against, and ignorance about the basics of what it means to be gay, how likely is it that ANY out gay person would befriend her, and/or feel safe around her?

    She thinks that if a gay person just “hides it,” they won’t suffer discrimination (as though having to hide it were not in itself a result of discrimination against what the gay person fundamentally is).

    What gay man is going to feel safe around this anti-gay bigot, period, and still less, to do impersonations of black women around her?

    Notice she used no names. There is no way to learn whether any white gay male ever actually had these alleged interactions with her.

  77. graphicjack says

    I think there are some different ways you could look at this.

    1. Is this really “appropriation”? I would say that any form of emulation that white gays might make of black women (whether you believe that emulation actually came from black gay men first or not) is not really appropriation unless someone is making a profit off of it. For example, Elvis appropriated black culture by singing songs originally sung by black artists without crediting them or giving them royalties. That’s wrong, absolutely.

    2. Is this behaviour an emulation? Some white gay men might emulate black women because they admire their “strength”, style or “fierceness”…. say a gay man making a YouTube video of the “Single Ladies” video for example. As a poster earlier said, this would strike me more as a form of flattery and I can’t see why black women might be offended by this.

    3. Is this behaviour mockery? For example, are white gays making fun of black women by calling each other Shanequa, acting like a trashy Real Housewife, etc. Then yes, I would think black women would have a right to be offended by that, just as we would be offended if a straight guy talked with a lisp, swished around and waved a hankie, mocking what he thinks gay men behave like.

    I don’t think we can lump all of these behaviours as “appropriation”, because the motives behind the behaviour are really what’s at issue. Some is harmless flattery, while other instances are more suspect.

  78. Derrick from Philly says


    One of the sites which speaks about the initial incorrectstatistics on votes by race for Proposition 8 is,

    The other, I’ll just give the site and the title news article:
    Black Support of Prop 8 Called Exaggeration (printed January 9, 2009)

  79. Derrick from Philly says

    @ EBONY & IVORY,

    there is a big difference in what Ms Mannie said about White Gay men, and your challenge to her– by using the voice of a Black person who’s angry at “White acting” Blacks.

    She did not tell White Gay men how they are SUPPOSED to act.

    In your dialogue that you created you had a raunchy Black character not only tell “White speaking” Blacks that they should stop, but that they should act & speak Black or “ghetto slang” (as you called it)

    There’s a big difference in your…analogy to what Ms Mannie said. She didn’t say that Gays should behave like the worst stereotypes of Gay men–she didn’t even go there.

  80. mark says

    @chitown kev–I appreciate where you are coming from…yet it seems like a fantasy is operating here…there’s no way anyone can calculate all the dimensions of what you propose…for less social harm and more fairness in the world.

  81. sick of it all says

    while I think ms mannie made some valid points, I find it extremely offensive to have her tell me what a privileged life I get to live for being a white gay man, she has no more understanding of what kind of lives white gay men get to live then I can understand what kind of lives black men or women have to live. White privilege is built on sand, and it can disappear in a heartbeat, it did not protect me from abuse throughout my school years, It did not protect me from having faggot screamed at me from the street when people have walked past the place I worked in,(hairdresser)it has not protected me from being called fag yet again for the great crime of buying a magazine for gay men. There is a man in my town who will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair after being stabbed in the back, simply for being gay, being white did not protect him. Color does not protect any of us from spending a lifetime of hearing religious leaders telling us that we are responsible for every natural disaster on the planet, and that we are going to burn in hell, and yes it is true that if I just pretend to be straight I can make my life easier, but I gotta tell ya trying to control my every gesture so that I don’t give myself away, starts to feel pretty damn oppressive after awhile. If you think I don’t know that there is white privilege, you are mistaken, because I know what it feels like when it disappears, so it’s really not something you can trust, and having to pretend to be something I’m not so that people will treat me better is no privilege.

  82. sick of it all says

    First of all tony I am not a girl, don’t refer to me as one. Second at no time have I ever made the claim that my life is more difficult then anyone else’s unlike ms Mannie, my point is you should not presume to think you can understand anyone else’s journey we all have our struggles no matter what category we happen to fall in, so maybe you should sit down at the back of the class and shut up, adults are speaking, you just might learn something!

  83. Tony says

    Dear Sick…my comment was a comment directed toward the subject of this thread: Ms Mannie. So in other words, not you. Love, Me (in the front row) xoxo.. and by the by….I totally agree with the sentiment of your comments regarding the subject matter…so calm down gurl (lol…come on..just a little humor :)

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