author: annie trussler | op-ed editor
“The unholy ghost himself, chest glitter and all, recently visited UC Berkeley.”
I hate to make sweeping generalizations, and I hate speaking on behalf of an entire demographic even more, but there has come a point in my gay career that I need to put down my brunch fork and settle some scores. My particular beef is with Milo Yiannopoulos: gay court advantage (I think that’s a sport reference).
Mr. Yiannopoulos is many things; many, many, many things, many things I cannot put on paper in good conscience. Milo is gay, yes (he has called Trump “daddy” from before his campaign, I’m dead serious), which is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. Milo is also a white supremacist, Nazi (no, I won’t even vaguely entertain the term alt-right – he wore an Iron Cross to a gay club, just trust me), transmisogynist, racist, and a seemingly endless slew of other gross “ists” that make my skin crawl.
The unholy ghost himself, chest glitter and all, recently visited UC Berkeley. Rumours circulated, mostly by Milo’s mouth, that he was going to out every undocumented immigrant in the student population during his talk: you know, classic evil guy stuff. Step by step, slur-by-slur, a protest began, fires were lit, voices were heard, and Mr. Yiannopoulos was shut down.
The statement, “we shouldn’t give Nazis a platform,” should not be a controversial one. White supremacy, and furthermore, the danger of forced deportation, is not protected by the notion of Freedom of Speech. Without argument, without regard for the very lives of those so viciously impacted by bigotry, any right-winger will fling the “Freedom of Speech card,” stuff it between any pages they can find. You can’t exactly bookmark violence, and if your self-important rambling comes between human lives and safety, you don’t get to play your “ooo, mom, they told me not to talk” token.
My main purpose for this article, however, is not about freedom of speech, or even about the resurgence of Nazism (which is a whole new can of worms). My main purpose is a defense of my gay name; our gay name.
We all have that one Republican uncle who think they’re going to sway our minds by saying, “I know a gay guy on our side, what do you say to that?” I say nothing with my mouth full of mashed potatoes, but there are a million words that I wish I could pass instead of the gravy. Members of the LGBTQ+ community do not stand by the morals of Milo. We do not agree with his policies, we do not hate as he does, and we do not stand behind his propaganda.
If he’s the example right-wingers look to for their ideal “gay guy,” there is a lot more at work. If one’s “perfect gay” is one that promotes white supremacy, outs trans women, and generally perpetuates violent rhetoric, then you are simultaneously discrediting the outcry of millions, and supporting the same policies that have murdered, maimed, segregated, and threatened so many under oppressive regimes.
It’s time to stop seeking out the most hateful singularity in the benevolent mass to coddle your insidious intentions, and time to realize evil takes the form of those your aggressive denomination was taught to hate. Milo, a gay man, is a fascist, a proponent of toxic hate speech, and is not, nor will he ever be, a representative of what we are, and what we believe.