Sunday, November 27, 2016

OUT Magazine under fire for profile of gay member of the alt-right

by Joe Siegel

OUT Magazine, the glossy LGBT publication, has been slammed for running a profile of right-wing gay blogger Milo Yiannopoulos in a recent issue.

The story, titled “Send In the Clown: Internet Supervillain Milo Doesn’t Care That You Hate Him,” begins with a note from editor Aaron Hicklin:

It should not need saying that the views expressed by the subject of this piece in no way represent the opinions of this magazine, but in this era of social media tribalism, the mere act of covering a contentious person can be misinterpreted as an endorsement. If LGBTQ media takes its responsibilities seriously we can’t shy away from covering queer people who are at the center of this highly polarized election year, and we ask you to assess Milo Yiannopoulos, the focus of this profile, on his own words without mistaking them for ours.”

Writer Chadwick Moore described the openly gay Breitbart editor as an “alt-right crusader” and “professional mischief maker and provocateur.”

Moore continues by stating that Yiannopoulos’ opinions are so shocking that left-wingers and journalists are “left in the rubble” and “dumbfounded.”

The article also has photos of Yiannopoulos biting his lip, wearing clown makeup, and dressed in drag.

The backlash from members of the LGBT community was immediate.

Gay blogger Jon Adams tweeted, “OUT Magazine really equated Milo Yiannopoulos’ white supremacist bullshit to being an ‘internet super villain,’ like he’s The Riddler.”

Yianopoulos was banned from Twitter earlier this year after allegedly encouraging racial and sexual abuse directed at “Ghostbusters” and “Saturday Night Live” star Leslie Jones.

Members of the LGBT media, including R.J. Aguiar, David Badash,  John M. Becker, Trish Bendix, Alex Berg, and Gabe Bergado issued a letter about the Yiannopoulos profile.

“The OUT Magazine profile of Milo Yiannopoulos is a serious problem,” the letter says. “It’s not because Yiannopoulos was mentioned, nor even because he was profiled. It’s because the profile negligently perpetuates harm against the LGBT community. We expect more from our colleagues.”

The letter continues: “The political climate right now is particularly toxic, and those of us who report on the LGBT community know firsthand what it’s like to be targeted by those who would oppress us, particularly those of us who have been attacked because of our race or gender identity. We stand apart from those who would sell out the community to promote this toxicity for clicks and profits.”

However, not everyone took offence at the OUT Magazine story.

Mark Segal, publisher of Philadelphia Gay News, lashed out at his colleagues in LGBT media for their criticism of OUT.

“What concerns me here is that this opposition to the story is close to censorship,” Segal wrote in PGN. “Should we only publish articles and interviews about ‘good’ people in our community with the ‘right’ positions?”

Segal believes people who are allied with enemies of LGBT rights need to be exposed for what they are.

“Yiannopoulos is an out gay man supporting Trump,” Segal noted. “He is the LGBT poster child of the alt-right. That makes him good copy! Our community needs to know that as well, as we need to show the people Yiannopoulos works with what we as a community think of him. Censoring him doesn’t do that, since he already has a megaphone from his perch at Breitbart, one of the most conservative media organizations in the country. … So out Yiannopoulos as the fool he is.”

TOP STORY
Volume 18
Issue 8

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