One of the most popular queer interest web publications out of the U.S., LGBTQ Nation, has just announced their “Person of the Year” award and it is sending many of their readers into a rage. They conducted a reader poll to see what LGBTQ figure should be considered the “Person of the Year,” with people like Gavin Grimm, Ellen DeGeneres, Pat McCrory, and Eric Fanning being selections that a plurality that members voted for. Out of the selections, though, Milo Yiannopoulos, the Alt Lite troll and enigmatic Islamophobe and racist, came in with70%, dramatically more than anyone else.
The instinct they are following through with this is the idea that Milo has broken through stereotypes since he is conservative, opposed to feminism, insulting to trans people, and generally breaking the idea that queer people lean progressive. This is the agenda of more conservative queer organizations, to decouple queer oppression from solidarity with other marginalized people and to then celebrate queer celebrities no matter how disgusting they become. Milo has been the most effective promoter of the Alt Right over the last year, a growth that people like Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor have used to take their white nationalist message to a larger, college-aged audience.
This news comes right after the announcement that Simon & Schuster has cut Milo a $250,000 advance for a book he is coming out with named Dangerous, named after his “Dangerous Faggot” tour on college campuses. When people are arguing about the “normalization” of the Alt Right, Milo’s advancement may be the best example of this.
While Milo has backed away from the term Alt Right, he certainly championed it for quite some time, referring to himself as Alt Right, hanging out with Alt Right celebrities like Jack Donovan, and did the first large media story on the Alt Right at Breitbart where he celebrated their iconoclastic ideas. The article at LGBTQ Nation had the Alt Right referenced in their first article then scrubbed it, instead putting a note at the bottom of the page defending Milo from his association. This is a chance for them to “have their cake and eat it too,” to promote a diet version of white nationalism while also insulating themselves from the criticism.
This needs to not happen without a near revolt from their readership, since they claim to be the most read LGBTQ news source on the planet. You can contact them to let them know your thoughts on this, but anti-fascists also need to keep up the pressure on Milo events and outlets that promote Milo, while also maintaining an intersectional analysis that Milo so desperately wants to destroy.