At the LGBTQ town hall on Oct. 10, CNN host Chris Cuomo joked with Sen. Kamala Harris that his pronouns also were she, her and hers, even though he identifies as cisgender. He has since apologized.
It began when 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Harris took the stage and said “Thank you, guys. My pronouns are she, her and hers.”
“She, her and hers?” Cuomo asked. “Mine, too,” he then added.
Cuomo has faced intense backlash. He identifies as a cisgender man, so his comment came off as mocking and insensitive to many during the nation’s first nationally televised presidential forum devoted to addressing LGBT issues.
“People’s pronouns are not a punchline,” the National Center for Lesbian Rights wrote on Twitter just a few minutes after Cuomo’s gaffe. “In a year where LGBTQ Americans are finally being recognized on the national Presidential stage, making jokes about gender pronouns is beneath your dignity. Please do better in the future.”
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Cuomo apologized on Twitter, writing: “PLEASE READ: When Sen. Harris said her pronouns were she her and her’s, I said mine too. I should not have. I apologized. I am an ally of the LGBTQ community, and I am sorry because I am committed to helping us achieve equality. Thank you for watching our townhall.”
PLEASE READ: When Sen. Harris said her pronouns were she her and her’s, I said mine too. I should not have. I apologize. I am an ally of the LGBTQ community, and I am sorry because I am committed to helping us achieve equality. Thank you for watching our townhall.
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) October 11, 2019
Harris’s line has drawn a combination of praise and blowback as well. She has been accused of pandering by announcing her pronouns because she doesn’t normally talk about it at other events, according to the Washington Post.
But it was an eventful night for more than Cuomo and Harris. There also were multiple protests from trans women about the increasing number of murdered black trans women across the country, in particular, Texas, which has seen a recent string of them.