July 20, 2016 at 6:17 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
‘Gays for Trump’ denounce ‘radical Islam’
Milo Yiannopoulos, gay news, Washington Blade

Milo Yiannopoulos speaks at the ‘Wake Up!’ party in Cleveland on July 19. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

CLEVELAND — Rallying attendees before posters of scantily clad young men in “Make America Great Again” hats, speakers at a “Gays for Trump” party on Tuesday night urged LGBT people to combat radical Islamic extremism.

The featured speaker at the event, which was called “Wake Up” and took place at Wolstein Center Ballroom at Cleveland State University, was Milo Yiannopoulos, a provocative gay conservative activist and journalist.

Wearing a white tank top with the image of a gun in rainbow colors and the words “We Shoot Back,” Yiannopoulos said the time has come for the LGBT community to separate itself from the progressive movement to take on Islamic extremism.

In the aftermath of a shooting in Orlando at a gay nightclub by a follower of Islamic extremism, Yiannopoulos said while the left once supported gay people, that’s “no longer the case.”

“Growing up gay wasn’t that fucking bad, let’s be honest,” Yiannopoulos said. “But I still don’t see the reason why the left-wing press mollycoddles and panders to an ideology that wants me dead.”

Yiannopoulos announced at the event he would travel to Sweden next week to lead a Pride parade in what he called a “Muslim ghetto” in Stockholm. Yiannopoulos said he draws no distinction between Islam as a whole and Islamic extremism, although he acknowledged some in the audience may disagree with him.

Known as a provocateur, Yiannopoulos has made comments on social media saying it should be legal to hunt any man with over 20 percent body fat, compared feminism to cancer and set up a scholarship with funds available only to white males. A Trump supporter, Yiannopoulos said during the event Trump is “the most pro-gay candidate in American electoral history.”

Yiannopoulos spoke just minutes before he was reportedly banned permanently from Twitter for a series of tweets against “Ghostbusters” star Leslie Jones that were deemed abusive. As a result, Yiannopoulos said he intends to make the lives of people working for the media a “hell.”

“You have done nothing for gays,” Yiannopoulos said. “While you were busy hectoring and bullying and nannying us about transgender pronouns, you completely forgot that politicians in this country, Democrat[ic] politicians who are welcoming in a religion that wants us dead. They were welcoming in movements and belief systems that are completely incompatible with the Western way of life, with modern, Western, capitalist, liberal democracies, the only systems under which gay people are happy and successful and have rights.”

The estimated 500 attendees at the event, billed as the “most fab party at the RNC,” were predominately young white men, many of whom were wearing “Make America Great Again” hats in support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. A line of attendees seeking to take photos with Yiannopoulos spanned a room adjoining the ballroom where the event took place.

David Griffin, a gay 24-year-old Georgia resident, came to the event wearing a Trump campaign hat and three buttons in support of the presidential candidate.

“I like Trump because he’s going to secure our borders, he’s going to put America first and, more importantly, he’s the most pro-gay candidate in the race,” Griffin said. “Hillary Clinton wants to bring people in from cultures that are very hostile to gays. The countries that she wants to bring people in from are countries that throw gays off buildings, stone them. It is not very good. I want people who believe in our values to come here.”

Some Syrian refugees coming to the United States are fleeing anti-LGBT persecution at the hands of the Islamic State. The White House has said LGBT refugees would be one of the priority groups of refugees seeking asylum in the United States.

Devin Conway, a 21-year-old student at Georgia Southern University, said he came because he wanted to surround himself “with like-minded people and to celebrate not only Trump winning the nomination, but hopefully winning the presidency.”

“There are people from all walks of life here, gay, straight, reporters, non-reporters,” Conway said. “I think it’s beautiful that we can all come together for one cause, and think that’s what Trump’s message is really all about, and I really hope that we can spread it to the rest of the country.”

Other speakers at the event warned against the dangers of Islamic extremism and urged LGBT people to pay heed to the threat.

Chris Barron, a gay political consultant and former board chair of the now-defunct gay conservative group GOProud, said Trump is making the Republican Party “more accepting for LGBT people all across this country.”

“The left wants us to believe that this is an election that’s going to be about bathrooms or who’s going to pay for our wedding cakes, but LGBT people and our allies know that this is a question of life or death,” Barron said. “We saw what happened in Orlando. We have a radical Islamic ideology out there that is dedicated to exterminating LGBT people all across this globe.”

Also speaking at the event was Pamela Geller, an anti-Islamic conservative activist who came to the event wearing a rainbow-colored shirt with the message “Love Will Win.”

“The Republican Party is the party of individual rights and equality for all before the law, all,” Geller said. “No special rights or special classes. Democrats exploit the gay cause for their own ends. We’re the real deal. We oppose jihad terror. What greater threat to the gay community is there than Islamic law?”

Geert Wilders, a leader of the conservative Dutch Party for Freedom, warned against allowing Muslim immigration to the United States, saying that the practice has led Europe down a dismal path and violence on the continent.

“There is only one Islam, and that Islam has no place in a free society because it goes against freedom,” Wilders said. “So we should close our borders for immigrants from Islamic countries. We should not let any jihadists returning to our free countries. We should expel criminals with a double-nationality after we have stripped them of the nationality of our country. We should stop the ‘Islamizaton,’ as a matter of fact, we should de-Islamize our societies.”

To a smattering of applause among attendees, Wilders said he doesn’t want any more mosques in the Netherlands or Islamic schools for “young children that we want to integrate into society who learn hate and violence.”

Outside the event, a dozen protesters carried a banner reading, “Queers Against Racism.” Although no individual among the protesters was willing to speak with the Washington Blade, they handed the press a slip of paper explaining their views.

“There’s nothing fabulous about racism,” the paper says. “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.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

43 Comments
  • So gay folks are just not bigoted enough, is that his message?

    As someone who has suffered discrimination based on ancient superstitions, I see the error in prejudice. This makes it my responsibility to oppose religious bigotry no matter which religion is targeting which other group.

    • When islam beheads homosexuals, what is that – Non-prejudice?

      • It’s murder, just like any religious extremist, murdering anyone.

        • In islam, it is mainstream. Homosexuality is punishable by death in muslim countries.

          Have you been living under a rock all this time?

          • Historically it also was the mainstream for Christianity! Brutal savage murder often by the pillory.

            Look at Uganda now. It’s Christian isn’t it yet they want to impose life imprisonment or capital punishment for being gay.

            Eric Rudolph is a Christian conservative American who bombed a gay bar in Atlanta. We are no safe with Christian than Muslims. You fool yourself!

          • Do we live in the past or in the present? What is wrong with you?

          • We learn from the past so we aren’t condemned to repeat it. As early as right after Orlando a Christian preacher praised the bombing and said gays should all be put before a firing squad. It’s hardly the past! What is wrong with you!? Glazed over that?

            We don’t live in Saudi Arabia or countries where we are beheaded either. So again what is wrong with you?

          • Why are you supporting that which wants to behead you? Can you possibly be more (censored)?

          • I’m not. You’re just outrageously pretending I am to try and dupe people into voting for trump and your christian conservative social terrorists!

            Your scare tactics aren’t going to get your agenda pushed!

          • So you are against islam?

          • I’m against anti-glbt oppression and not for supporting the ascent into power of those that made it clear that is their agenda out of fear from other oppression or violence. Both are bad. One doesn’t justify the other.

          • Are you against islam or are you not against islam?

          • I told you what I’m agsinst. Is whining about Islam all you live for?

          • You are not against islam. Why do you hide it? Are you a muslim? Tell me your opinion of quran.

          • Why are you so obsessed with Islam? I’m not. I admire Islamic art and architecture just not religious fanatiscm.

            Take a religious studies course if you want to know more about the Quran or simply googling it. Perhaps you are the closet Muslim.

          • You are a muslim aren’t you? Don’t you feel shame when you deceive non-muslims like this? Why are your pretending to be a non-muslim?

          • No I’m far from Muslim. Anyone familiar with my posts on Israel would no that. Wrong as always you are!!

            Why don’t you admit you’re a GOP troll fishing for votes?

          • Then why can’t you give us your opinion of quran? What are you trying to hide?

            Give us your opinion of quran. Do not deflect, because if you deflect once again, it will become clear that you are trying to hide your true stance.

            Go ahead. Tell us your opinion of quran.

          • I never read the Quran and I could care less. It’s irrelevant. You’re obsessed with Muslims.

          • Guys – It should be clear by now that lnm3921 is hiding something. It is very likely that lnm3921 is a muslim.

            Allah does not exist lnm3921. Islam is not compatible with the western society. Islam and its followers have no place in the west.

            Any homosexual who supports islam, must visit a psychiatrist post haste.

          • Yeah I’m hiding something. Let’s find a dark corner where I can bend you over and show you physically what it is! That’s assuming you’re not an eyesore with a body like Chris Christie!

          • Why do you defend islam knowing well that islam mandates its followers to kill you?

            What is wrong with you?

          • Be sure to enema before you bend over

          • You did not tell me llort – Why do you defend that which wants to behead you? Are you mentally stable?

          • Voting christian conservatives into power is mentally unstable! Taking arsenic instead of cyanide still will kill you.

            Give it up dummy!! You must live a sad and pathetic existence! If All you do is repeat the same dumb question. Go find someone to bend you over and make your eyes roll back in your head. You need it bad!

          • But why do you support those who want to murder you?

            Do you suffer from some sort of mental affliction? Might I suggest professional, mental help?

          • Under a rock? You make a factually BS (because you’re a liar or your ignorant) comment and ask me if I live under a rock? No stupid, but I could live in Jordan or other Islamic nations that don’t crimninalize homosexaulity.

          • You could also live in saudi and have yourself beheaded for homosexuality.

            Why do you support that ideology that wants to murder you? Are you mental?

          • Ok, you established you a liar and stupid. I don’t support Saudi Arabia (you are a liar), why would I live there (You are stupid)? Your claim was all Islamic nations out law homosexuality. No they don’t.

          • Never said all. You just proved that you are a liar.

            Islam mandates death for homosexuals. Why do you support islam? What is wrong with you?

  • This is a pretty long parody piece.

  • If I say – Fabulous! to this, would that make me gay?

    But seriously, well done.

    Trump 2016

  • This guy is an idiot!!! It is not the Muslim religion that kills people…it is religious extremism. The same religious extremism exists in Christianity!! More Gays & Lesbians have been killed in the name of the Christian religion than ANY OTHER RELIGION!!! This guy thinks that Trump and the Christian right will save us??? OMFG…how STUPID!!! He just want is 10 minutes of fame…what a loser!!

  • I would love to see the photos of the 6 people that attended this “rally”. It was probably posted on Grindr as a hookup event.

  • Three of the original group of republicans running for the presidency were introduced on stage by a preacher that called for all gays to be killed. And the three republicans went on stage in agreement with him. 23 states are working on passing anti gay laws. The republicans tried to strip federal benefits for gays before their recess. Trump has said he will appoint supreme court justices to overturn gay marriage. Pence tried to let anyone in iIndiana refuse gays service just because they thank you are gay. on and on……They have to be doing this just for the attention no one could be so damn dumb.

  • Only if they agree to combat radical Christian extremism.

  • Miss Milo is so brave isn’t she leading a parade in Sweden which is more liberal than America and codifies our rights under law while police flank around her to protect her every step? Let’s see her do the same in Russia, Dubai, or Uganda where authorities likely wouldn’t lift a finger to protect her against homophobic thugs and she would end up in jail after being battered by both police and protestors! A gun gives you such false bravado as if no one can outgun you!

    Being gay wasn’t so (I’m sure if I use the cuss word the blade itself printed as a quote, this would be placed on hold). Really? Does she think her sheltered experience reflects every other? How bad was it for her? Slurs at school or being beaten up by other students didn’t phase her assuming she was out? I’ve known many gays that would drop out of school before completing high school because the abuse was more than they could bear. I recall a friend in college getting constant harassment to the point he was going to drop out. All their opportunities for a better live were lost before it even started.

    My experience for being openly gay growing up was one where violence and slurs were very common if you were open about being gay. It was facing losing friends, being ostracized by family and not being able to get a job. Even mentioning gay openly on TV, the movies or radio was taboo so you had no role models. We only had the stereotypes like Liberace or Paul Lynde that everyone laughed at with disgust.

    It was one where you could be thrown out of a restaurant or store for being overt and being able to do nothing about it. I can relate so many stories it would take too long and the Blade likely doesn’t want me to say them with it’s censorship anyway.

    The common reaction for being known to be gay was either hateful scorn or ridicule and laughter like you are a joke. I recall people driving around looking for gays on the street looking to bash you.

  • Was Eric Rudolph an Islamic Terrorist?

  • Ban him and his cronies from enjoying the benefits of being a part of the LGBT community. Demand that hook-up sites pull their ads, refuse them service any and everywhere, boo them on the streets. No justice, no peace.

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