Monday, January 9, 2017

'Alt-right' agitator Milo Yiannopoulos named LGBTQ Nation's 'Person of the Year'

Posted By on Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 3:33 PM

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LGBTQ Nation, an online news magazine that claims to be a leading news source for LGBTQ people (and runs other LGBTQ-focused websites such as Queerty and GayCities), has named Milo Yiannopoulos its “Person of the Year.”

Yes, we’re talking about the same Milo Yiannopoulos with ties to the white-nationalist, xenophobic, racist, transphobic, homophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic “alt-right” movement whose upcoming visit to UCCS has half our city in an uproar.

What’s more, in the article announcing his win, the site bowed to pressure from Yiannopoulos himself to remove reference to the “alt-right” movement from their write-up. While Yiannopoulos does not personally identify with that label, and many “alt-right” leaders disavow him, he still shares fundamental ideological beliefs with the movement.

Their excuse for Yiannopoulos’ win? It’s the result of internet poll, which accepted votes from everyone — LGBTQ Nation readers and otherwise. The “otherwise” — Yiannopoulos’ fans who mobilized via sites like Reddit and 4chan — won out. These fans spammed the poll, and ended up tipping the scales in his favor, earning him nearly 70 percent of the vote.

A similar effort on behalf of Vice President-Elect Mike Pence (who is vehemently anti-LGBTQ and advocates for LGBTQ conversion therapy) landed the governor in second place.

Now, one might think that, even if Yiannopoulos did win “fair and square” as LGBTQ Nation says, there might be some amount of editorial control over these things. The site could make a statement by refusing to allow Yiannopoulos the same courtesy previous persons of the year have received — namely an interview.

But instead of making that statement, it seems LGBTQ Nation will give Yiannopoulos an opportunity to speak his mind, allowing him one more platform for his vehement hate speech.

The site has asserted that in naming Yiannopoulos “person of the year,” they do not necessarily mean that he’s had a positive impact on the LGBTQ community. What it means, simply, is that he has had an impact.

“Hate him or love him, one thing Yiannopoulos truly excels at is getting attention for himself and his causes ... For a gay guy from Britain, he has truly made his mark on conservative American politics and entertainment. He’s been able to brand himself the ultimate gay provocateur in a year of provocateurs,” the website says.

Considering Yiannopoulos consistently encourages violence against minority groups, it may not be the best idea to allow him more platforms to “provoke,” but LGBTQ Nation has made up its mind.

If you are interested in making a statement to UCCS about his speech, currently tentatively scheduled for Jan. 26, the community group Colorado Springs Anti-fascists have organized a Facebook event with information about who to contact with your concerns. There may also be a public protest scheduled for the same day.

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