Is T.I. Going To Make Deyjah Carry The Emotional Weight In The Hymengate Conversation?
I don’t think many of us will ever forget T.I. and his epic overshare speaking about his teenage daughter’s biology and sex life. T.I. has said and done some unsavory things since he’s been in the public eye. But this, I think takes the cake.
For weeks, T.I.’s presence at his daughter’s doctor’s appointments and monitoring her virginity dominated the news cycle.
Now, on the most recent episode of “T.I. and Tiny: Friends and Family Hustle,” we got to watch how Deyjah processed all of her personal business being discussed online and how she and T.I. were able to have the conversation as father and daughter.
Deyjah shared how she first learned of this development, while the family was in Mexico on vacation.
“I’m scrolling on Twitter and I’m tagged in a post. The only word I saw was “gynecologist” and I didn’t read the whole title. Because I just knew—my heart sank. I’m very shocked, hurt, angry, embarrassed. Things are completely uncomfortable for me right now. We’re all together in this house so I have to see my dad and be around him. And we’re in a foreign country, so it’s not like I can just leave and get away.”
When her cousins asked her how she felt about all of this, Deyjah reluctantly eased into the conversation.
“I mean honestly, I’m embarrassed for sure. I’m trying to push it in the back of my mind so I’m really not thinking about it. I know that’s not healthy. But I’ve been doing that since a child, even like stuff with him…It’s definitely been going on since about 14 or 15. It’s not like I could have said no. I couldn’t have said no.”
Then she shared her thoughts on the way her father communicates about his sons’ sexuality versus his daughters.
“I do think my dad treats me differently than the boys when it comes to the subject of sex and supervision. My dad even jokes with King about becoming a baby daddy. He would never joke like that with me.”
Her cousins advise that she talks to T.I. about his comments and how they made her feel. Deyjah doesn’t seem excited about the prospect.
“I’m not going to be able to get through to him and connect, for real, for real, like I need to. He always plays victim, honestly. I just don’t really care to be around him right now.
I’ll be a better parent—I’m not saying he’s a bad parent. I’m just saying like when it comes to stuff like this, I’m just going to be more connected, mentally, emotionally.
I don’t know—I don’t want to say that I’m kind of looking at him differently because of it…I mean, I don’t know. Really, I mean moreso our relationship. I’m going to look at it differently if that makes sense.”
When her cousin asked if she felt like this incident was going to put a strain on their relationship, Deyjah started crying.
They assure her that it’s ok to cry and be emotional.
“This situation is just a little traumatizing for me.”
Sadly, when T.I. first learns about how his comments are spreading like wildfire across the internet, T.I. does exactly what Deyjah predicts he will.
He immediately goes on the defensive. He shares that the story, while true, was embellished. (For clarification, the embellished part was that he doesn’t leave notes on her door and remind her of the appointments. He does go with her to the appointments and makes inquiries about the state of her hymen.)
Then he tells his mother that he will never apologize for being him. Later, in the confessional he says that Deyjah’s opinion is the only one he cares about but it seems that in the beginning T.I. is more worried about his reputation than he is about Deyjah’s feelings.
In fact, instead of approaching Deyjah to determine what her feelings are, he sits back and says that she hasn’t approached him yet.
And this is what we have to discuss.
Deyjah is a child. T.I.’s child. And she did nothing wrong. T.I. did. As the parent and the one in the wrong, he should have been running to see how Deyjah felt about her body being discussed all over the nation. But he didn’t.
Deyjah’s assessment of her father playing the victim is spot on. And that’s sad.
There have been numerous studies and discussions about how the emotional labor in relationships, so often falls on women. And with Deyjah and T.I., we see just how early this practice begins. Deyjah is not responsible for mending their fractured relationship.
At the conclusion of the episode, which is just part one regarding this topic, instead of pulling Deyjah to the side and having a mature and apologetic conversation about all of this, T.I., in front of the whole family, asks Deyjah how she’s doing and if she’s staying out of trouble.
Not only was it an inappropriate venue to have the conversation, the ice-breaker questions he asked had nothing to do with the elephant in the room.
I think enough time has passed since all of this transpired. Hopefully, the two are in a better place. But this first conversation left a lot to be desired.
You can watch the full episode in the video below. The portion about Deyjah begins around the 22:50 mark.