So much ink and bits have been spilled on Milo Yiannopoulos. Hoisted on his own Petard, I find it interesting that the Right’s Token Gay and go to Prop has found that his masters hate him as much as the Left.
For what it is worth, I find Milo to be the next in the evolution of Right-Wing blowhards who use outrage in order to gain attention and money. From Rush Limbaugh to Ann Coulter to Michelle Malkin and Katie Hopkins, Milo Yiannopoulos peddles in rightwing outrage as a commodity, and making lots of money in the process. His angle of course is manyfold, a British tech guy, who is Gay and *gasp* thinks that homosexuality is abhorrent, and we should go back into the closet! (Warning: Brietbart link). In many was, he is the Conservative court jester, allowed to say these things because he can play the Gay card (which he does with wild abandon). Conservatives love it, as they have loved other perpetually outraged political entertainers. He is no different than Ann Coulter saying something provocative ahead of her next book release, or Rush Limbaugh braying in the radio for 45 minutes in order to get more listeners. He is a pedlar of outrage.
What is interesting is that Milo is being taken down for something he felt was positive. In an interesting opinion piece by Nathan Robinson he talks about Conservatives moving against Milo *now.* He has said controversial things before, but why this? Why now? Robinson hits it pretty well with this quote:
Yiannopoulos has quickly found out which ideas will actually get you booted from the public square, and they’re left-wing ones rather than right-wing ones. It turned out the real people you can’t offend are the conservatives whose latent homophobia make them instantly pounce on a gay man as a defender of pedophilia when he tries to explain his world to them. How fitting that Yiannopoulos should end up subjected to the very kind of vicious misrepresentation of LGBT people that he has spent his time encouraging.
– Nathan Robinson
While everyone has roundly condemned him, the Left for a long while now, it only stuck because the Conservatives are now uncomfortable with with their token.
As a Gay Man, I have seen the behavior (and the defence) that Milo has spoken about. In my 20’s, I met a man whose first relationship was at 13 with a 40 year old man. He staunchly defended the relationship, called it consensual, and told everyone he was happy in that relationship for several years, having his parents blessing and even living with the man at age 15.
Honestly, it was creepy as fuck.
Having been a victim of sexual abuse as a child myself, and coming of age in the truly wild west days of the internet, I remember how desperate I was to find people like me, but also finding men who were definitely not there for my “development, security, and safety.” Even in the 90’s I knew that those overtures were a danger, not a comfort.
And it sucked. I wish I had platonic adult gay role models I could gravitate to, to understand. I was discovering myself before Will and Grace, when the only Gay people you saw had AIDS. My straight friends has celebrities, friends, and family they could envisage themselves being. We had closeted men yearning for companionship in a world that bred paranoia and distrust. With Milo being only 4 years younger than me, it is obvious he grew up during those times, and shaped his warped perception of what growing up Gay should be. The Man I met in my 20’s thought he was wise and knowledgable of the gay world, but he wasn’t. He was at times self-hating, he was uncaring to others, and as I reflect on it, he reminds me a lot of Milo, and I suspect there is a reason for that. Just because someone is sexually mature doesn’t means that they have the emotional and developmental facilities to deal with an older person who will take advantage of their inexperience and underdevelopment in crucial areas. That is what Milo doesn’t understand, he was broken, and his behavior points to him being a broken token that has been prodded by the Far Right to validate their own hate and outrage.
This is why we as a community pushed so for for coming out, for being apart of society instead of being shunned, to break that grooming and destructive behavior and showing gay youth of a healthy, appropriate role models in the gay world. Having more out gay youth mean that the LGBTQI community learns the trials and tribulations of dating, love, and security from their own age group, just like everyone else. They do not have to seek older people in order to validate their emotional or physical feelings, and they learn what is right and wrong in an environment similar to that of their straight counterparts. Maybe that is why Milo is so insistent that we go back into the closet, so that the youth will become easy prey to those predators and continue the cycle of abuse that he feels is ok. Of course there are dangers, of course there are those who will seek the newly sexually mature for own ends, that is no different than the straight world, but we need to be aware, and call it out for what it is.
In the end, Milo’s first run of mainstream celebrity has come to an end. I will not count him out for the future. I find that cockroaches such as him will find a way to bounce back, maybe with a tell all book about this experience, maybe through a re-invention. But for now, he is done. He is no longer the Token jester allowed to prance and spew the rhetoric of the Far Right world, saying terrible things for a chance at gaining attention he so desperately craves.