Last night, a loosely organized group calling itself “Gays for Trump” held an anti-Muslim event in Cleveland. As Imagine 2050 noted earlier this week, the event featured anti-Muslim speakers Pamela Geller and Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
However, the event organizers described as “the most fab party at the RNC” amounted to little more than a glorified press conference to fuel the egos of attention-starved bigots. Chief among those was Breitbart News’ Milo Yiannopoulos, who headlined the event. Following last month’s heinous attack in Orlando, Yiannopolous has been one of the internet’s loudest voices advancing anti-Muslim bigotry in the supposed name of LGBT rights.
The Washington Blade reports protesters outside last night’s event provided some much-needed perspective for press and other attendees.
“There’s nothing fabulous about racism,” a paper distributed outside the event reads. “Our grief is not a catalyst for xenophobia. We will not be opportunistically used to promote Trump’s rhetoric of hate. What happened in Orlando is a result of a homegrown culture of homophobia promoted by Trump, Pence and conservatives for decades.”
Yiannopoulos dismissed that sentiment in his remarks to event attendees. “Growing up gay wasn’t that fucking bad. Let’s be honest,” he said.
The Breitbart contributor also made little effort to downplay his clear anti-Muslim slant, telling the crowd he sees no difference between the entire religion of Islam and extremist factions.
Some reporters acknowledged the event was self-promoting by design. As The Village Voice’s Nick Pinto noted last night:
The thing about this is if the press-list weren’t 8 pages long, this would be a bunch of sad bigots in a half-empty convention ballroom.
— Nick Pinto (@macfathom) July 20, 2016
In his recap for The Voice, Pinto reporter that Geller asked the crowd, “What greater threat is there to the gay community than Islamic law?” Pinto said Geller rejected the notion that Islamophobia is real: “It doesn’t exist! It’s a myth!”
White nationalists party with ‘Gays for Trump’
Evidently, the event also attracted two of the country’s most prominent white nationalists. The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel noted on Twitter last night that both Peter Brimelow and Richard Spencer were in attendance. Brimelow and Spencer run the white nationalist website VDARE.com and think tank National Policy Institute, respectively.
Also at Milo party: Chuck Johnson (wearing Make America Great Again hat), Pamela Gellar, and Richard Spencer
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) July 20, 2016
White nationalist leaders in the United States have become notably emboldened by the racism and xenophobia that have been prominentt during Trump’s campaign.
Last night’s event had absolutely nothing to do with advancing LGBT rights. It was about white nationalists and other assorted right-wing demagogues using the media to advance their personal brand.
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