LGBT youth from around the region gathered on Saturday, April 10, at the HRC Equality Forum in Washington, D.C., for a question-and-answer session with Mike Manning, the bisexual housemate of MTV’s recent Real World: Washington D.C.
Manning, in town for that night’s Metro DC PFLAG Gala, spoke candidly about his experiences before and after the popular reality show thrust him into the limelight. He also addressed his bisexuality — and the criticism he gets from both the straight and gay communities — frankly.
“Sexual orientation is about biology,” he told Metro Weekly. “It’s about who you are sexually attracted to in your brain. People tell me, ‘Oh, if you’re dating a guy you can’t be bisexual.’ But sexual orientation doesn’t describe a situation, doesn’t describe who you’re dating, or who you’re with or who you’re married to. It describes your sexual attraction to other people. I just don’t think that the gay community, especially, has the right to tell me how I should identify.”
Following the Q&A session, Manning and fellow Real World castmember Ashley Lindley shared pizza and conversation with fans.
The event, for LGBT youth aged 13 to 21, was co-sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, SMYAL (Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League), Metro DC PFLAG and the Youth Pride Alliance.