You know gays have won when a drag queen runs for office as a Republican

You know gays have won the culture war when a former drag queen is running for office in North Carolina as a conservative Republican.

Yes, by now you may have heard tell of Miss Mona Sinclair (aka Steve Wiles), who’s running for the North Carolina state Senate as a conservative Republican.

Wiles’ claim to fame is having pushed for the successful passage of a statewide ban on gay marriages in 2012.

In addition to being a raving homophobe, Wiles is also a former drag queen, and former promoter for the “Miss Gay America” pageant (the organization kicked him out a few years ago).

My recreation of conservative GOP candidate Steve Wiles as a drag queen (with all due apologies to RuPaul).

Steve Wiles has a message for the unemployed: You better work! (Source: My artist rendition of conservative GOP candidate Steve Wiles as a drag queen — with all due apologies to RuPaul.)

Wiles, who refers to his former life as a female impersonator as simply “an embarrassing job,” tells the local press that his drag days were a youthful indiscretion, and that he still stands by his support for the anti-gay amendment.

Wiles’ primary election is this coming Tuesday, May 6.

Business Insider was able to grab a copy of a note that Wiles reportedly had posted on Facebook (I could no longer find it), in which Wiles defends his work as a drag queen by noting that he lives in an expensive part of North Carolina and “I had to have a job!”

So you chose dressing as a woman in a gay bar. WWRRD?

Oh where to begin.

First off, for those who don’t like it when we make fun of anti-gay gays, well, this is not some innocent teenager. He’s a conservative Republican politician who has openly worked to deny gay Americans their civil rights.

And while I get that some are trying to turn intolerance into a human right (LGBTI?), I think we do a disservice when we whitewash bigotry in order to placate some misguided sense of fairness to the patently unfair.

Steve Wiles wasn’t worried about fairness when he helped ban the civil right of marriage in North Carolina for gay couples.  No more than former Mozilla head Brendan Eich was worried about fairness when he donated $1,000 to the Proposition 8 campaign in California, which not only repealed the already-existing right to marry, but was also intended to dissolve 18,000 already-existing legal marriage of gay couples in the state, many who had children.

And it’s not like everyone is clamoring to leave racists alone.

The real fairness is treating (homo)homophobes the same way we treat other bigots in America. And it ain’t with a hug.

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CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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34 Responses to “You know gays have won when a drag queen runs for office as a Republican”

  1. goulo says:


    an EX-drag queen who is embarrassed by and explicitly repudiates his past as a mistake, and who touts the anti-gay party line and fights against marriage equality, runs for office as Republican.

    I don’t really see that as a great sign of progress, alas.

    If an out & proud gay person who supports and works for equal rights runs for office as Republican, then THAT would be more of a good sign that “gays have won”.

    But it seems the US is not quite there yet…

  2. Eagle2758 says:

    Steven Tisdale pleads guilty to killing his husband, gets life sentence (pleaded guilty to avoid death penalty)

  3. Eagle2758 says:

    Hey, did you all hear about the gay guy from the same county who killed his lover and left him upstairs for 3 weeks? He was convicted today of murder. Wow, what compassion and love!

  4. Eagle2758 says:

    Maybe he’d get desperate and take one up the arse for the team too,eh.

  5. Indigo says:

    It was a long time ago.

  6. BeccaM says:

    *shudder* You owe me the price of the great big tumbler full of scotch it’s going to take to erase that mental image.

  7. BeccaM says:

    Yeesh. Well, my response to him is the same as everybody else who wants to insist there should be no marriage rights, laws, or even such a thing as government recognition of marriage: Heterosexuals can give it up first. Then maybe we can talk.

    The result of that suggestion is always a resounding silence.

  8. John Ruff says:

    I know a few Jewish Nazis.

  9. John Ruff says:

    Sometimes I wear fishnet attire while lounging around the apartment.

  10. Stev84 says:

    He is a religious nut who thinks that marriage is a religious “institute” and that the government’s involvement in it is unconstitutional:

  11. 2karmanot says:

    Except they never take up the cross and are willing to be crucified.

  12. 2karmanot says:

    Except I used to wear a harness under my three piece suit.

  13. 2karmanot says:

    “Suck up to lobbyists?” an appropriate pun for sure.

  14. Terry_Watts says:

    Suck up to lobbyists… nice choice of words…

  15. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    But of course “decent” is just code for “evangelical”, isn’t it? It isn’t a true word in the proper linguistic sense, more of a placeholder.

  16. Thom Allen says:

    So he became a drag queen to make enough to pay the rent. If he eventually got elected to office in Washington, DC, with even higher rents, what would he do to earn enough then? Suck up to lobbyists? He seems to be a little ethically challenged already. He’ll fit right in with the other Republicans in North Carolina or DC.

  17. Indigo says:

    Call us jaded if you like but we’re not surprised because we’ve grown accustomed to the rank hypocrisy, the back-stabbing, the bait-and-switch, and the back room deals that are the stuff of our Lords & Masters’ dealings.

  18. Indigo says:

    What would Ronald Reagan do? I take it for granted that he got more than one role after a meaningful casting couch performance. His old-time photos in a bathing suit leave less to the imagination than today’s Republicans would expect.

  19. BeccaM says:

    So first he’s a gay-embracing drag-queen performing in a gay bar in North Carolina.

    Now he’s an anti-gay GOP conservative, opposed to gay rights, who refuses to answer questions about his actual sexual orientation.

    The guy sure does love his costumes, doesn’t he?

    I love how he says, “I understand the gay community does not share my support for the Marriage Amendment — I RESPECT THAT…” (caps in the original) He’s talking about the GOP-supported amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the amendment which would ban same-sex marriage forever, throughout the country, and which would annul the marriages (and civil unions and domestic partnerships) of every gay and lesbian couple and family in America.

    According to Wiles, his position is something we should respect and debate with him, as if civil rights on the one hand and permanently rescinding and banning the extension of civil rights to the very same people he mooched from — and apparently, in retrospect, exploited — during his now-regretted drag queen days are merely two equally valid and morally equivalent points of view. What’s next? “Gay people allowed to live openly and without fear of criminal persecution versus rounding them all up and sending them to prison — let’s have a debate!”

    Sorry, Ms. Mona Sinclair-Wiles, but I DON’T RESPECT THAT. (sorry for shouting…) Enshrining anti-gay discrimination in our nation’s paramount legal document is the very height of the bigotry you claim you want to fight.

    He closes with, “I regret that something so trivial would cloud an otherwise decent campaign…”

    Um, no. It’s not at all trivial, and a campaign based on rank, self-serving hypocrisy and the gay equivalent of Uncle Tom-ing will never be ‘decent.’

  20. Flyer2012 says:

    Won what? We are not trying to win anything other than equal recognition. By the way drag queens don’t represent mainstream gay people. Most of us wake up in the morning, go to work, pay the bills, mow the grass and take out the garbage. Nothing really exciting.

  21. The_Fixer says:

    Well, that’s been a staple of evangelicals forever. Remember, they’ve all been “saved” and accepted Jesus as their personal savior, so whatever they’ve done, or will do in the future, has been excused. Not just with gay stuff, but with anything. Cheat on your wife? Confess your sins, Jesus forgives you, and you’re cool. Steal money? Same thing. Lying? Yup, Jesus has got ya covered.

    For people who almost exclusively belong to the “Party of Personal Responsibility”®, that’s a conflict that just can’t be resolved by thinking people.

    Like I said, thinking people.

  22. heimaey says:

    I’m sorry but I don’t respect any gay person that affiliates themselves with the Republican party.

  23. I was hoping someone would get the joke :)

  24. cole3244 says:

    one thing is consistent here to run as a goper you must be against something rather than for anything and you must be a bigot in one way or another, pass & pass say i.

  25. 4th Turning says:

    John, this one is so much, much better to begin our week with!

  26. FLL says:

    Yes, what would Ronald Reagan do? I would like to think Ronald Reagan would have done the same, at least in the interest of show business. Flat out hilarious. There is no non-comic aspect to this story.

  27. AndyinChicago says:

    If you hate yourself, and you’re affiliating with people based only on a mutual hatred, sooner or later you’re going to have to realize that the people you’re hanging out with hate you. That’s no way to live.

  28. oikos says:

    “once worked as a female impersonator at a gay nightclub in Winston-Salem and was gay at the time.”

    So he used to be gay and is now “ex gay”? How convenient.

  29. silas1898 says:

    It’s like a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card that never expires. Whatever later happens, they bemoan their “backsliding”, say a few magic words of repentance and all is Okey Dokey. Hallelujah! Lather, rinse, repeat.

  30. caphillprof says:

    He couldn’t afford to live in Raleigh so he became a drag queen. Now he wants to be a state legislator. I cannot decide whether this diminishes drag queens or elevates legislators.

  31. keirmeister says:

    What’s sad is that his drag past is something he should be proud of (assuming he was any good at it).

  32. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    I suddenly had the wild idea that it’s almost a little game with them. After all it’s supposed to be the idea, isn’t it, that you had a horrible, miserable, sin-stained existence, then Jesus saved you and now you’re happier than you’ve ever been in your life and you just can’t shut up about how happy you are. So maybe there’s some weird Jesus-freak cachet in having had the most outlandish past transgressions–which have of course been totally and completely cured by your baptism in the Holy Spirit, mind you. Sort of the fundie equivalent of the Monty Python Yorkshiremen sketch.

  33. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    An anti-gay Republican has a suspicious past that makes one question his straightness. Why is no one surprised?

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