This week, SFGN covered an exclusive interview with Alt-Right celebrity Milo Yiannopoulos coming to South Florida. He also appeared in an article by Out Magazine, which has members of the LGBT media up in arms.
The article in question features a full profile on Yiannopoulos, who has spoken out against women and people of color in the past, and includes a personalized photoshoot depicting him as a clown, and in drag.
Out’s piece also includes a defensive editor’s note: “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,” it reads. “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 Milos Yiannopoulos, the focus of this profile, on his own words without mistaking them for ours.“
Describing Yiannopoulos as ‘the internet’s greatest supervillain,” the article — titled “Send In the Clown: Internet Supervillain Milo Doesn't Care That You Hate Him” — digs into his position at the forefront of the Alt-Right movement.
In response, members of LGBT media signed an open letter against the Out Magazine profile. The open letter, created by ThinkProgress, has been signed by Video Producer for the Huffinton Post Alex Berg, Mike Ciriaco from LA Weekly and even a member of Out Magazine, Les Fabian Brathwaite.
“The Out Magazine profile of Milo Yiannopoulos is a serious problem,” the letter reads. “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 goes into further detail: “This puff piece — complete with a cutesy clown photoshoot — makes light of Yiannopoulos’s trolling while simultaneously providing him a pedestal to further extend his brand of hatred. Indeed, he does so in the profile itself, openly slurring the transgender community, which Out published without any apparent concern.”
It claims that members of LGBT media need to hold each other to “a higher standard” because they “have an obligation, at a minimum, to ensure that what we publish … avoids fostering harm to queer people. Out failed in this regard.”
Breitbart News, the hyper-conservative site that Yiannopolous works for, noticed the tension from LGBT media and posted their own article in response. Titled “‘Out’ Magazine Profiles Milo, Triggers Its Delicate Gay Readers,” points out the tension emerging between ‘Out’ and other LGBT media.
Regardless of the controversy, Yiannopolous revealed on Facebook that he was pleased by the feature.
“I have to say I'm stunned by this,“ he said. “The gay press publishes a gigantic profile of me that is, for the most part, fair, accurate and nuanced and will drive their looniest readers wild.”