We are

Asking for Accountability

Who are we?

We are a group of people who have had various types of relationships with Jay Manicom both romantic and otherwise. Three of us are ex partners who have survived harmful and abusive relationships with them for varying amounts of time. Four of us are ex-housemates of Jay’s who witnessed and experienced some of their past actions that have hurt people in our communities. Two of us directly shared sober spaces with Jay and first hand witnessed and experienced the behaviours that will be mentioned in this statement. The rest of us are members of the community who we have been called on to support us through this process; who have experience in conflict mediation and transformative justice work, but who do not have a personal history with Jay. 

 

Who are we talking to?

Our intention with this statement is to share our stories that for too long have been silenced, minimized and ignored by Jay, by their friends, and by their partner, Clementine. We are making this information public in an attempt to protect other people that might find themselves in contact with or propositioned by Jay (or Clementine). We also want to make our stories available to the public to attempt a call for accountability that this time cannot be ignored. Many attempts for dialogue and accountability have been made in private and directly with Jay but these have been unsuccessful (we are talking attempts over multiple years now). Jay has a considerable platform to express their ideas and opinions, both in academia, through Clementine’s social media, and in their podcast. We believe that it’s important to normalize accountability for powerful individuals in our community, particularly in this situation where Jay and Clementine are attempting to control the discourse on accountability.

We’re doing this because we shouldn’t keep this to ourselves

We are putting this out because we feel fed up with not being heard, and hearing history repeat itself with each ex partner/friend of Jay’s who speaks up. The behaviour we describe in this statement has been constant throughout the times we’ve interacted with Jay or been in their life. Some of us have known them for 10 years, have dated them for up to 4/4.5 years, lived with them for 2+ years. We witnessed and experienced this behaviour consistently. Some of us heard rumours prior to dating Jay, but they would often only share specific details, and frame situations as if they were the one being victimized. We’ve spent a lot of time and energy reflecting on our experiences, finding ways to name them, and heal from them, so we’ve decided to put that work together. Writing and reviewing this document took about four months, as we made sure to reflect on it and go back to it regularly. Hopefully, others who have been impacted don’t have to spend that long second-guessing or isolating themselves. 

We’re doing this because too much fucked up shit has happened

The people most affected and targeted by Jay are marginalized people who are poor, queer, neurodivergent, traumatized, not familiar with academia, etc. We do not believe that these shared identities and circumstances are random. We believe grooming, manipulation, and deception happen in power dynamics, when differences in status and knowledge are taken advantage of, or used in self-serving ways. We believe that’s what went on in our relationships with Jay. Jay knows the language and has the political knowledge that makes them an easy person to trust with your pain and trauma. They’ve routinely used that knowledge and lingo to seduce people in the community, to perform allyship, and to ‘outwit’ folks who confronted them or called issues to their attention. In our experience, they’ve often been unwilling to use their knowledge to undermine harmful dynamics. 

Our goal is harm reduction

We understand a statement like this can cause conflict in people’s lives and that Jay and people close to them might be distressed by this. We didn’t put this document together for it to be reposted as a smear campaign, but to make ourselves heard and to help others avoid similar abuse and toxic behavior in the future. 

We are not ‘cancelling’ Jay, despite that they already believe that they have been. We know that white, upper-middle class, academic and/or well-known folks – who complain about ‘callout’ and ‘cancel culture’ the most – rarely lose status or security when they’re actually called on to be accountable for their behavior. We also see that they’re often addressed with much more care and compassion than more marginalized people who are confronted. And sometimes, such efforts even give them visibility that they then use to further their interests or spin discourses, rather than actually help tackle toxic dynamics. To the point, Jay (with Clementine) is currently monetizing their complaints about exactly these kinds of accountability attempts. We’re not here to whine, speculate, or profit. 

 

Trigger Warning

What you read in the following sections might be triggering and painful, and if that’s the case, we ask that you skip ahead to section 2 and 3, to learn about what has been tried in the past and what accountability looks like to us, before sharing this statement. 

Section 1:

Who is Jay and what behaviour are we flagging?

Jay Manicom is a queer white anarchist and academic in Tio’tia:ke (Montreal). 

Jay prides themselves on being polyamorous, often having multiple partners at once. They frequently proposition queers on various dating apps like OkCupid and Tinder. 

Jay frequently gets exasperated and frustrated when issues are brought up about the way they navigate polyamory. They consistently rep a victim complex and act wilfully ignorant to their actions. Harmful dynamics have manifested in non-romantic and non-sexual situations as well. Below lists the dynamics and behaviours we have experienced from Jay:

Toxic, non-consensual, and sometimes coercive polyamory dynamics

Our experiences with Jay have been that they often date a lot of people at once. This forces their partners to compete for time, which creates fear, scarcity and resentment towards other partners. Their communication around safer sex (timing of dates and new partners, STIs, etc) also lacks transparency. When concerns or frustrations are brought to their attention, more often than not they try to persuade you that your feelings are a result of your mental illness. Jay lied to us about how many people they were dating, and then would use our mental health as an excuse for not having disclosed the information to us.

“Jay would cultivate an extremely triggering dynamic of intense scarcity after being hyper present and caring initially.” -ex partner

“Jay was extremely withholding. Their behaviour would often create insecurity, jealousy and feelings of inadequacy. They would often run away from labour in a relationship by being totally immersed in a new person. They would become resentful and aggressive when VERY basic care was asked for.” – ex partner

“Jay coerced me into a disclosure agreement that was on a basis of only communicating about people we wanted to date seriously and not the ones we dated casually. They would hide the amount of people they would date from me.” – ex partner

“Jay agreed to getting back together after a breakup on the condition that I had no expectations of them, even though we had been in a partnership for four years at that point.” – ex partner 

 

Predatory Behaviour

Jay reaches out to people constantly to attempt to date and oversexualizes people to an uncomfortable degree, including in professional settings. We believe that this entitled, vocal way of sexualizing people is an embodiment of toxic masculinity. 

“Jay would oversexualize everyone, including my friends or people in my life; roommates, my other partners inappropriately.” – ex partner

“They would expliciately over sexualize people, literally saying that they are always imaginaing/fantasizing having sex with people when they look at them at random”. – ex partner

“I had to argue with Jay once about whether university students should or shouldn’t be dating interests for teaching staff. They were excusing teachers, saying that students simply were part of “the dating pool.” I know people can just say things too lightly sometimes, and maybe they’ve changed their mind about that, but Jay was already a TA at the time and I found their opinion really worrying.” – ex roommate

“Whenever I dated anyone, esp women of colour, Jay creeped on them and talked about wanting to fuck them. On occasions where these partners were willing to be intimate, Jay acted like any care for their trauma or feelings was a nuisance – and left me to handle it alone. I recall 2 specific instances where this lead me and the other partner to get triggered / retraumatized – 1 occasion led to a suicide attempt from my other partner which Jay refused to ever help me process/he shut down completely and wouldn’t even let me talk about it. Jay wants to fuck people of colour but doesn’t want to hear about their needs or feelings. – ex partner

Jay grooms their partners into polyamory, then gaslights you when any “poly issues” are brought up by telling you that you are the issue, not them. 

“Jay explicitly told me that they try to make (always traumatized often younger) people feel ‘safe’ so they will do whatever they want sexually. This dynamic goes hand in hand with coercive group sex.” – ex partner

Pathologizing Inconvenient Reactions

Jay turns attempted dialogue into arguments, often spinning words and minimizing your feelings to be a result of your mental state. They use academic and psychological lingo to minimize your feelings. 

 “Jay recommended that I look into support for Children of Alcoholics – even though my dad hasn’t drank since I was young and I never even said that his drinking affected me very much. Basically he was just trying to discredit my legit arguments by pathologizing me / and trying to convince my own support network that I’m crazy – the inherent problem being that Jay thinks “crazy” people don’t deserve to be listened to.” – ex partner

During the process of writing this statement we discovered that Jay had recommended the same exact thing (Children of Alcoholics) to all 3 of the ex partners involved. 

“When I lived with him at Sober House, EVERYONE who annoyed Jay was discredited for being crazy – to the point of some people being pushed out / kicked out / driven crazy into nervous breakdowns. Why the fuck did Jay think they should start a house for recovering addicts if they have zero tolerance for anyone acting “crazy”? – ex roommate 

“Sometimes, Jay responds to ‘inconvenient’ behaviour with aggression, lumping together erratic behavior and being in touch with their feelings. There have been a few times when they threatened to “snap”, “lose control”; in other words insinuated physical violence if a housemate wasn’t in charge of mitigating their interactions with another housemate. In these instances, they expected people to take care of them when they were threatening to get violent. It was difficult to bring that to their attention and talk about the position it put us in, because they would frame it in terms of their mental health flailing and needing support. They pathologize reactions strategically.” – ex roommate 

Gaslighting

Jay dismisses people based on their mental health status and dismisses people’s genuine mental health needs when they express them. However, in our experience, when Jay experiences a crisis, they don’t apply the same standards, appealing to their struggles with mental health in order to gain sympathy or get out of taking responsibility (because they know the people they date will take their mental health concerns seriously). Ironically, Jay consistently dates people who identify as having trauma and/or people from marginalized communities who are more likely to have experienced trauma and face mental health challenges. 

“Jay would gaslight me when we were dating anytime I would bring up issues in our relationship/poly dynamics. They made me feel as though I was jealous and bad at poly for having basic needs and concerns around confusing and shitty dynamics. They would tell me that they did not want to follow proper poly guidelines because they wanted to “do what they want”.  They always blamed my mental health for bringing up or being upset about things in our relationship. They would continuously use the excuse of not telling me things because they thought I could not handle it (mentally).” -ex partner

“Jay would use academic language when communicating and trying to convince people of things. Telling you that the things that you say don’t make sense and then using inaccessible language or definitions.” ex-partner

“Jay used politics to coerce and manipulate me. They made me feel like I was a ‘bad anarchist’ for complaining about their type of polyamory.” -ex partner

“Jay would speak from absolute authority, stating their own memories of events or situations as facts. They would doubt others’ points of view despite being presented with proof. They would ridicule people’s grievances with sarcastic comments. They would withdraw during crises but then act like nothing happened when they returned like ‘’hey what’s up’’”. – ex roommate

Tokenizing, Fetishizing and Racism

Racism: Many of us have either witnessed or experienced the tokenizing and fetishizing of people of colour (dates, partners, roommates) by Jay. 

“I believe that J’s only interest in performing anti-racism is to gain access to fuck and date more women and queer people of colour.  They would downplay or play up my racialization to suit their needs. Ie: exoticize me as their partner when it was sexy or validating for them – but when it wasn’t sexy / we were in conflict, they would try to shut me down by saying I’m so white passing / basically white and “identity politics are stupid/problematic”.” – ex partner

Jay was a diplomat’s child who lived in different parts of the world and got a lot of access to different cultures, some being the very cultures or lineages their partners were part of. The way they talked about their (limited, expat’s) knowledge of other cultures felt very objectifying. Some of us also noticed an overlap between their academic research subjects and dating interests, which we find incredibly scary and predatory. 

“It felt to me on various occasions that I was being studied / used to gain (generally sexual) access / trust from vulnerable communities. Is this how they intend to continue conducting their “research”?” – ex partner

“I remember him telling me about a hot Muslim woman at his workplace. He was mad about how she wasn’t friendly with him, and he was trying to anthropology-understand why she wasn’t interested in him. Around that same time I was borrowing his computer and accidentally saw some pretty violent Hijabi porn on his computer search history. Also around that time was when they were talking often about how they wanted to do their Master’s research in the Middle East. Scary.” – ex partner

Many of us witnessed and experienced racist microagressions from Jay. This included Jay belittling our rage towards racism and using their stance against identity politics to whitesplain to us how we should be thinking and feeling. Based on our experiences, we firmly stand by the opinion that Jay has the potential to inflict a lot of violence towards racialized people, especially women and femmes. 

 

Cissexism/Transphobia: Most of us have witnessed Jay belittling people’s understanding of gender and self-determination, pushing their beliefs about identity and how it should be articulated on other queer folks, misgendering and deadnaming people, and speculating about HRT to discredit people’s reactions to their behavior. For instance, they would speculate about the negative effects of HRT, (wrongly) blaming someone’s violent behavior on their taking testosterone. Yet, they expressed support for trans partners, lovers, and folks they valued as dates or sexual interests. 

Avoidance and refusal to take responsibility

Bottom line, basic communication was often an issue with Jay and it did not help address any of these issues. For instance, whether willingly or unwillingly, Jay disclosed sensitive information about others without their consent, publicly and to other partners. On occasions, they would use that information against someone else (to shame someone), but then omit that information when it was most relevant to explain a situation. They continuously perpetuated the cycle of abuse, strategically placing kindnesses (words or presents) when there’s insecurity or conflict to address, or when they hope to get something from you. Besides, their tendency to act on behalf of others without prior consent, to single people out as the cause for problems, and to talk 1 on 1 about collective issues instead of addressing them as a group, did not help establish good communication.

Lastly, Jay has often avoided taking responsibility, even when responsibility was shared. For instance, past housemates remember that they routinely left instead of dealing with issues that would arise in the collective (when there were threats about busting our door, when a housemate would experience a mental health crisis, when we had bedbugs, when we were out of heating, etc.) It’s fair enough to take care of oneself and respect one’s limits, but we don’t recall a crisis where they stuck around, or supported people who stayed and recognized their work. Their avoidance was hard to reconcile with their instistance and repeated entitlement to taking on leadership roles. 

 

Section 2:

What has been tried in the past and didn’t work?

What we have tried to do

We’ve tried many one-on-one attempts and group conversations requesting acknowledgement for how we were treated and trying to make for better relationships. At one point there was a formal mediation process, which failed. We’ve contacted their partners Clementine and Leigh to intervene. All of these attempts have had no sufficient results. A few smaller ‘callouts’ have happened in the past but were instantly covered up and silenced by Jay’s supporters. 

 

Why all that didn’t work

Their responses to our requests for accountability have been mostly denial, exasperation, gaslighting, and being bombarded with explanations that use impersonal or academic language both by Jay and their partners or friends. 

Often Jay would just bring up things that we did wrong or act as though they did not understand what we were saying. Sometimes they would admit to miniscule situations but never to any of the larger issues, or foreclose grievances by speaking first and promising huge changes before even listening to anything others have to say or want to ask.

“They just dismissed me saying I’m crazy and need therapy etc. They sent their partner Leigh to ‘deescalate’ me. They messaged a friend of mine who they never met to say: “she’s acting strange. Is she okay?” Then blocked me and we haven’t interacted since.” – ex partner

“They went first at the mediation, with a prepared statement apologizing for causing any harm, detailing the steps they would be taking to change etc. They didn’t care to hear what was up, like, to know what they were apologizing for. It felt like they were framing it as a trial. It felt useless to talk, even if i knew the original point was dialogue!” – ex roommate

Why this is everyone’s business now

In our experience, Jay has mobilized their academic background and symbolic capital in their network to avoid and dismiss issues. They protect themselves behind their other partners, Leigh and Clementine, who often step up to defend them on public platforms. Clementine in particular has a huge public following on social media and therefore whose reach for defending Jay is huge. Most recently, Clementine and Jay started seeking to make money from alternative discourses on accountability, with their podcast. This platform conveniently appeared after other online “callouts” surfaced about Clementine, and after she was repeatedly confronted about Jay’s behaviour by people in her life. We are of the belief that this podcast offers both of them the ability to control the narrative surrounding calls for accountability, and shield them from having to question their behaviour by simply labelling themselves as “cancelled”.  

 

We believe that accountability processes with Jay haven’t worked and won’t work because they do not care about encouraging dialogue, harm reduction, or anti-oppressive practices when it doesn’t benefit them. Over the years, we’ve witnessed the care they put into leftist aesthetics and discourse without actual substance. For instance, behind displays of variously antifascist, anti capitalist, anarchist, and leftist aesthetics in their lifestyle and academic career, they approach and talk about people in a way that reproduces dynamics of unequal treatment and respect according to social, intellectual, and financial capital (how you pay rent, your level of education, your ability for abstract thinking, how many followers you have, etc). 

 

Most recently, Jay is now publicly flirting with conservative views on ‘free speech’ being trampled by the ‘liberal mob’, and pretending their critique is the true leftist and socialist thinking. They often framed relationship/collective living issues so as to portray themselves as the one being victimized, misunderstood, or more right about what anti-oppression looks like : now, their recent theories and speculations about “cancellation” generalize this strategy. 

We’re seeing Jay, with Clementine, participate in rhetoric that really smells like alt-right conspiracy messaging, and that’s another reason why we doubt there can be accountability without addressing our communities at large.

Often Jay would just bring up things that we did wrong or act as though they did not understand what we were saying. Sometimes they would admit to miniscule situations but never to any of the larger issues, or foreclose grievances by speaking first and promising huge changes before even listening to anything others have to say or want to ask.

“They just dismissed me saying I’m crazy and need therapy etc. They sent their partner Leigh to ‘deescalate’ me. They messaged a friend of mine who they never met to say: “she’s acting strange. Is she okay?” Then blocked me and we haven’t interacted since.” – ex partner

“They went first at the mediation, with a prepared statement apologizing for causing any harm, detailing the steps they would be taking to change etc. They didn’t care to hear what was up, like, to know what they were apologizing for. It felt like they were framing it as a trial. It felt useless to talk, even if i knew the original point was dialogue!” – ex roommate

Section 3:

Our Requests for Accountability

Many of us putting together this statement anticipate that we will never receive the accountability we deserve from Jay. That is why we decided that the most important reason for publishing this statement was to inform the community that we all share so that they can make an informed decision about whether or not to share space or have a relationship with Jay.

 

Now that you’ve read this statement, what can you do?

  • Share our statement with people who you believe should be made aware that this process is happening and how they can respond. We are hoping to get this message to the communities they most likely engage with, which is the Human and Social Sciences programs at Concordia university, the Montreal queer (poly) community, the Montreal anarchist community, and the rad sob/sober and AA communities. 
  • If you are someone who has a relationship with Jay, you can engage with them about their patterns of behaviour.  We think that is a better route than just distancing yourself from the individual or ending the relationship. 
  • We strongly believe that without accountability or even attempted discourse, both Jay and Clementine (since they are known to fish dates for one another) should be temporary banned from future play parties, BDSM events and cruising/dating events, particularly those in the queer and trans community. If you organize these types of events, you could publish a statement of support.
  • Without accountability, we strongly believe that Jay should not be given platforms of power and control such as organizing, leading or profiting from events where they discuss or teach about polyamory and relationships (and since Clementine vigorously defends them, we don’t really think that they should, either). If you currently support their projects, you could unfollow and/or unsubscribe and post a statement in support of us. 

 

Please do not:

  • Contact Jay or Clementine if you do not know them. Do not harass them online or in person (this includes but is not limited to: sending them bullying, threatening, or mean spirited messages online or in person). 

If you are Jay or Clementine reading this:

 Jay, you have often asked us, “what does accountability even mean?” If after reading this statement you are still unsure what you can do, here are some ideas:

  • Seek out sex/relationship addiction therapy 
  • Stop dating and propositioning new people until you’ve worked on and improved on your behaviours
  • Stop sleeping with new young people/ queers / people of colour for the time being
  • Remove your dating site profiles until you’ve worked on your behaviour
  • Tell your new partners about your history of dating and sex issues, disclosing accountability processes from the past
  • Practice more transparency with regards to disclosing how many people you are sleeping with and dating
  • Educate yourself regarding respecting trans people day-to-day, in practice; accepting their genderqueerness doesn’t mean you know and see it all.
  • Offer a sincere apology that states what you are sorry for and how you will be working to change your patterns of behaviour

  • Please do not contact us or approach any of us directly. If your network would like to reach out to us to have a dialogue, we will consider it as long as it is in good faith. We repeat, do not contact any of those who you believe to be involved directly. 

 

***If anyone would like to get in contact with us, you can contact us at: [email protected]