John M. Becker

Anti-Gay North Carolina GOP Candidate is Former Drag Queen

Filed By John M. Becker | May 04, 2014 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Amendment One, conservative Christians, drag queens, gay marriage, GOP, hypocrisy, marriage discrimination amendment, marriage equality, North Carolina, Republican Party, same-sex marriage, Steve Wiles, Virginia Foxx

steve-wiles-nc-gop-drag-queen.jpgWell, this is awkward: Steve Wiles, a 34-year-old self-described "conservative Christian," is campaigning for the North Carolina state senate as an anti-gay Republican. Wiles is so anti-gay, in fact, that in 2012 he worked to pass the state's marriage discrimination amendment.

He's also a former drag queen named Mona Sinclair who performed at a nightclub in Winston-Salem.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports:

Wiles, 34, was in his early 20s when he worked at the now-defunct nightclub, Club Odyssey, according to co-owner Randy Duggins and former employee Gray Tomlinson. "He is Mona Sinclair," Duggins said, referring to Wiles' female persona.

Wiles' responses over the past three weeks have ranged from categorical denial to tacit admission. "I have already apologized to the people who matter most to me for the things I did when I was young," Wiles said this week, declining to clarify for what he has apologized. The comment was made in the last of three separate interviews. At first, Wiles denied the claim.

"That's not me," Wiles said three weeks ago, referring to Mona Sinclair. Wiles responded "no" when asked whether he was gay. This week, Wiles' campaign website, Facebook page and Twitter handle were taken down...

Duggins said he had no doubts. "I recognized his picture when I was looking in the paper. That's definitely him. He has aged some, but that's him," Duggins said. "I have no ax to grind against him. I just think he's a liar."

Duggins and Tomlinson say that Wiles identified as gay at the time they knew him. When Business Insider asked the candidate whether he now identifies as "ex-gay," he refused to comment.

Wiles was involved in gay drag-themed events as recently as 2011, when he was permanently expelled from the Miss Gay America pageant system for "conduct unbecoming to a promoter." Pageant organizers would not comment on the specifics of said conduct.

Blogger Joe Jervis reports that Wiles issued a statement yesterday on his Facebook page addressing the controversy. The text of Wiles's statement, along with a photograph of him posing with virulently homophobic U.S. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), is after the jump.

Steve Wiles:

I'm sure many of you saw my glowing recommendation in the Winston Salem Journal - I'd like to apologize to everyone because, unlike the currently appointed NC Senator in District 31, I made mistakes. My job was embarrassing - I had to have a job! Nobody died, leaving me a millionaire capable of living in North Carolina's most expensive neighborhood. One thing I will say, I learned from my mistakes - the Republican party, under the leadership of Scott Cumbie who threatened me with my past if I ran against an incumbent Republican, seem intent to fight within the party and join in the fight with every bigot and racist they can find. I understand the gay community does not share my support for the Marriage Amendment - I RESPECT THAT and am very happy to discuss my views with any of my friends in the Democrat party and gay community. Meanwhile, I regret the fact that something so trivial would cloud an otherwise decent campaign....What more could be expected though? When policy fails, attacks begin.

steve-wiles-virginia-foxx.jpg

h/t: Joe. My. God.
Image source: Facebook.


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