Yiannopoulos: Mentally Ill Internet Troll, Not a GLBTQ Spokseman

Yiannopoulos: Mentally Ill Internet Troll, Not a GLBTQ Spokseman


I started to make a caustic post about Milo Yiannopoulos, but I stopped. This guy is mentally ill, an abuse victim, and an internet troll, who is looking for angry and irrational response. Plus, poking fun at someone who is sick feels not much better than Trump making fun of the disabled.

Yiannopoulos is a big jerk, but except for when a big jerk is in a position of power, we don’t need to worry about jerks that much. Yiannopoulos says a lot of stupid and incendiary things. Why was I so pissed?

In part, it is his combination of hypocrisy, lack of constructive ideas, and his sneakiness. In part, he just says despicable things about many groups of people. In part, it disgusts me that he is the alt-right’s pet gay man, and he uses that platform to insult homosexuals and spread falsehoods and misunderstandings about the GLBTQ community.

I remind myself that Yiannopoulos is someone who was raped as a teen and someone who has untreated mental illness. The mental illness is most likely largely or partially the result of that abuse. We shouldn’t be making fun of his issues, we should be suggesting he gets some help, and we should be shaming and protesting those that have exploited his illness for profit or political gain.

Yiannopoulos did apologize, and I give him credit for doing so. It sounded somewhat sincere, if at times evasive. I don’t think he has ever had to display the maturity to publicly take responsibility for his behavior before.

Still, he clearly made statements supporting teen relationships, as young as thirteen, with adult men; and he did not fully admit to it. For years, whenever we stood up for gay rights, conservatives referenced NAMBLA – as if letting two consenting adults engage in homosexual sex or love without being discriminated against was somehow going to lead to liberals deciding to legalize “man boy love”, or bestiality, or some other thing that has nothing to do with supporting GLBTQ rights.

Gay marriage is legal, and liberals are not advocating legalized child rape. But the darling of the alt-right advocated and justified child rape. Yiannopoulos lashed out against consent laws for children, as a misguided liberal ideal. Protecting our children against adult predators isn’t a liberal idea, it’s human decency.

He argued against trans men using women’s restrooms, painting a picture of scary, “sexually confused” men in the bathroom with women and children. Yiannopoulos is a gay man who calls being gay disgusting and “a choice”, but apparently he can neither stop himself from being gay nor come to terms it. He is much more confused about his sexuality than any transsexual I have known, and he has a problem taking responsibility for his actions. If anything, we should be worrying about who we subject to sharing a bathroom with Yiannopoulos.

But now I am getting mean again. The best thing that we can do with Yiannopoulos is to keep repeating that he has a mental illness and therefore needs help. Otherwise, we should ignore him. He wants our ire. He thrives on the attention, and he profits from it.

Besides, I suspect one day he will wake up and realize that he isn’t the star of the alt-right. He’s the court jester and rabble-rousing pawn. All of the hate he spews and damage he does to intelligent discourse won’t heal his wounds, or make him actually accepted, or take away his hatred for himself.

So, instead, we should hold accountable those that have given an unhinged man a megaphone to spread hate and lies unchecked, for their own gain. To name a few: Breitbart, Simon and Schuster, CPAC, Republicans, and unfortunately, Bill Maher.

This isn’t about curtailing free speech. Yiannopoulos should have his voice, just like all people. That does not mean we should be encouraging the spread of hatred and lies without holding him accountable and challenging him.

We also have to question ourselves, society, conservatives, and everyone that has given Yiannopoulos a large forum that it took advocacy of child rape to get someone to say, “that’s too much”. I am obviously relieved that advocating for the molestation of children is still a line that cannot be crossed, but where was the outrage as he said, advocated, and did horrible things to and about women, Muslims, Jews, gays, and liberals in general?