Mama June and Pumpkin Are Bisexual: “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo” Stars Come Out on “Inside Edition”

At 4:53 p.m. this afternoon, Eastern Standard Time, I was finally forced to confront the fact that Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo is a thing exists in our world. Mama June and Lauryn “Pumpkin” Thompson, two people who star on the TLC reality show, both come came out as bisexual in an EXCLUSIVE Inside Edition interview that hit the internet bizarrely late on a Friday afternoon, at the end of the weekly pop culture news cycle.

Apparently, Pumpkin — who is the sister of Honey Boo-Boo, and the daughter of Mama June and Sugar Bear — lined up an interview with Inside Edition to come out, and during the interview, she also went ahead and outed her mother.

This is what the video looks like that I would have embedded here if it hadn’t been on autoplay.

video

Watch the video here, but be warned: AUTOPLAY.

I’ll just transcribe it for you.

Pumpkin: She’s gay too.
Mama June: No, no.
Pumpkin: June. is. gay. too.
Record: [scratch]
Inside Edition guy: WHAT DID SHE JUST SAY?
Pumpkin: She’s gay too. June is gay too.
Insider Edition guy: Mama June is gay?! That’s the shocking announcement from daughter Pumpkin of Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo fame!!! The 15-year-old just outed her mom on national television!!!!!!

Pumpkin goes on to say, “I’m attracted to females, and I’m attracted to males. You cannot hide who you truly are.” And then there is some discussion about whether or not Mama June played in the big leagues, or kept her bisexuality at a strictly amateur level, the truth of which will, of course, affect her ability to compete in the Queer Olympics.

According to a thing I saw on Tumblr one time, Honey Boo-Boo is an outspoken supporter of gay rights, which is actually pretty dang inspiring. I grew up near the town where this show is (was?) filmed, and the idea of a child being a vocal advocate for queer people in such a backcountry part of Georgia is really humbling to me.

Maybe she will help her mom and sister on the path toward self-acceptance.

Mama June and Pumpkin’s full interview airs tonight on Inside Edition. Hopefully it will be … not-exploitive. If anything substantial happens, we’ll let you know!


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Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Heather has written 599 articles for us.

54 Comments

  1. Bless Autostraddle and the lovelies who comment on articles here, because my facebook is already full of Atlanta lesbians saying gross things about how they want the other team to keep her. Whether it’s a publicity stunt or not, you can’t put limits on who is allowed to be out.

  2. “There is nothing wrong with not wanting to be associated with these people”
    “Wow anything to get back in the media”
    “Why do we (the public) need to know…Now the nightmares begin”

    All of these comments strike me as extremely mean-spirited. I can understand not wanting to be associated with “these people” when “these people” are portrayed as backwards hicks with poor social skills and manners, people who exploit their small daughter for ethically dubious beauty prizes and television show opportunities, people (specifically the mother) who date the man who molested her other daughter.

    I don’t identify with that in any way. But I don’t want to sit in judgment from my lofty white/rainbow tower and say “we don’t want your kind here.”

    Seriously? That’s just shitty.

    Also, why wouldn’t they want to get back in the media? From what little I know of this family, they come from a poor area and I doubt they have a lot of opportunities otherwise. If being in the media is the one thing they can capitalize on to make money, I would want to get back in the media too. And coming out as a queer person of size in a rural community (even if it is just to capitalize on media appearances) is its own kind of bravery. There are plenty of rural people who are still terrified to come out. We don’t get to pick and choose who is allowed in our queer club, and even if we question their motives for doing so, what does it matter? Visibility of bisexual people, especially chubby rural bisexual people, is a good thing.

    Finally, as to the last commenter…I am assuming that saying “now the nightmares begin” is a reference to these women’s appearance and weight. To you I have nothing to say but FUCK THAT. That is fat-shaming, beauty-policing, I-am-oh-so-much-better-than-these-people BULLSHIT, and I am embarrassed for you that you felt it was okay to say.

    • “These people” means only one thing: people who exploit their daughters to make money. Also applies to all the beauty pageants’ mothers, I don’t give a s…. if they’re lesbians, bisexuals, pansexuals, straights or freaking aliens.

      And I think placing your daughters even 2 inches near a convicted child molester also qualifies as “these people”.

      But thank you for mentioning the important issue, that we’re fat-shaming this woman (and nobody did that).

      • I said that I was assuming an intention. So I can’t know for certain, since that original poster hasn’t defended their comment.

        But yeah, go ahead and ignore the rest of my completely valid post so that you can feel better.

        We are not the gatekeepers of queer culture. And there is a difference between being supportive of a fifteen year old girl (Pumpkin) coming out publicly and being supportive of her exploitative mother. I never defended a child molester, and I made that pretty clear in my post.

        Again, there is a lot of meanness directed at “these people.”

        Let’s examine poverty. Let’s examine generational poverty, and the kind of people who grow up in a poor backwater with nothing and no one, the kind of abuse that Mama June probably suffered as a child, the abuse she perpetuates by dating abusive men. Let’s talk about how your disgust for these people helps them and thousands like them from seeming like humans to the rest of us.

        I consider myself fucking lucky that I didn’t grow up on that world. And it is only an accident of birth that kept me from it.

        The vitriol is not helping anyone. You know what helps? Compassion. Even for people who don’t deserve it. I don’t condone Mama June’s really awful decisions regarding her daughters. I pity her. And I have compassion for her. I don’t feel like I am better than she is.

        The tone I hear from the comments like this is that she (and her fifteen year old daughter) don’t deserve the common decency of compassion and care.

        Jesus Christ. This thread is making me sad at life.

        • Yeah I don’t have compassion for men and women who enable abuse. And I do think I’m superior to paedophiles and their enablers. It’s funny that you want us to get all kumbayah about June but would probably feel very different if she wasn’t white. I’ve seen plenty of vitriol chucked at non white abusers on here, no one turns up to say we should be do an analysis on their behaviour. Only whites get that privilege. Also it’s gross how you bring up her supposed poverty as an excuse. She’s made a ton of money exploiting her daughter. And poor people are no more likely to be abusers/enable abuse than wealthier people. She’s gross because she abandoned her teenage daughter to side with the man that abused her. End of.

    • ‘…people who exploit their small daughter for ethically dubious beauty prizes and television show opportunities, people (specifically the mother) who date the man who molested her other daughter.

      I don’t identify with that in any way. But I don’t want to sit in judgment from my lofty white/rainbow tower and say “we don’t want your kind here.’

      Ugh, you do you then. I guess. I’m not ashamed of being disgusted by the mother’s behavior. Pretty comfortable on my non child abusing/exploiting cloud here. I don’t really think that is a high standard…

      • *I stand corrected. I should have said this person. I would never implicate a child. I’m a cynic enough to believe that this whole thing is a stunt though, but that is still on the Mom if she’s encouraging the daughter to exploit her sexuality, by falsifying her orientation.

  3. Is it a requirement now for every woman coming out as lesbian or bisexual to get an alt haircut? Back in my day when I came out (2007), we just had to watch “The L Word”, wear a rainbow bracelet and eat pussy. That being said, my Gaydar pinged for Pumpkin back when that show was on the air.

    • I definitely agree my gaydar was abuzzing. She always had that “something” about her. She was my fave sister out of the bunch. Glad she`s the same as always, not afraid to say whats on her wacky mind lol. (Cue the getting whopped by lightning episode). 🙂

    • You do know that bi and lesbian have been know to date each other. Not to mention bi women are party of the lesbian community too(that is if the bi for the person also means into women). Beside, while they may not be the best people around it’s a bit harsh to say my condolences to the bi community.

  4. Okay, let’s have a moment about this comment thread. Disliking these people ain’t biphobia. I disliked this lot before, I dislike them now. The child beauty pageant bullshit is completely morally reprehensible. Period. Being bisexual has no bearing on these people’s likability. Nor does weight, race, socioeconomic status, religion, regional background, or anything else.

    I feel 100 percent confident in saying that these child-sexualizing creeps can fuck right off of our collective radar. We choose the stories we amplify. This doesn’t need to be one of them.

    • Yes, mama June is not a good person.

      But it’s not Pumpkin’s fault her mother is a child exploiter. Pumpkin and Honey Boo Boo
      (And for the record I feel ridiculous typing these names) are the victims here. And if Pumpkin is taking the opportunity to capitalize on her (modest) fame to come out publicly, despite the fact that her mother is not a good person, I feel like the community should embrace her with love and acceptance instead of offering disdain and disgust for something her mother has done.

      No one is defending a child molester or the woman who has chosen to date a child molester. I am pretty sure we all agree that is fairly reprehensible.

      Pumpkin is fifteen. FIFTEEN. She doesn’t deserve the vitriol her family gets.

      • Yeah, I can see giving Pumpkin a pat on the back here. What she did was pretty brave. I mean, outing someone is kinda shitty and that haircut is tragic, but nothing too bad. Visibility is fabulous and all, but I’m still pretty iffy about lauding this as another great coming out story being that June is tacked on to it with all her sketchy problematic shit. It’s a shame that Pumpkin has her story tarnished by that legacy. Also a shame: that hair. Not okay. Condition that shit.

    • This. She is an ugly human being for enabling and supporting a convicted child molester. Then lying to her molested daughter that he was out of her life choosing to take his side as well that whatever happened was not all that serious.

      She has been a caught liar on many things which was why her show got dropped. I believe they would do anything to wedge an angle to get a new reality show including stunt sexuality.

  5. Mama June was pregnant at 13 and gave birth at 14. Perhaps a victim of abuse herself and at the time lacking internal or external resources to make some important parenting choices. I don’t think she’s innocent, and certainly think some choices of late should be continued to be called into question.

    I hope that pumpkin continues to receive the support deserves.

  6. I would not even recognize Pumpkin from the show. She’s rocking that alt lifestlye haircut! Also I love her dress. She was kind of the awkward class clown character on the show and it’s great seeing her look so much more comfortable with herself.

    I used to love this show and watched all seasons. I was so disappointed when it was revealed that June was hanging out with (possibly dating) her ex, who was convicted of sexually abusing Anna. There’s no way to make that OK, at all. She really messed up there and she hasn’t taken responsibility for it, at all.

    But I’m obviously fine with Mama June being bisexual. That’s fine. I don’t know why that wouldn’t be fine. I don’t need to give a stamp of approval to every queer person. There are plenty of queer folks who have done awful things.

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