It was May 10, the morning after we went to production on our last issue. I was a little groggy-eyed from spending the previous two days with the staff putting the issue together and getting it off to the printer when my phone kept pinging with notifications. People were leaving Facebook comments left and right on one of the stories we posted.

That story? “Georgia gay Republicans sticking by Trump 100 days in.”

It was a follow-up to a story we did last June giving insight into the minds of LGBT Republicans in Georgia who supported then-Presidential candidate Trump. The two supporters we found, who not only agreed to speak on the record but were eager to, were retired meteorologist Arch Kennedy and University of West Georgia student Avery Anderson. With the follow-up, we wondered, after all that happened in that first 100 days, did they still support Trump?

The short answer was yes. Hell yes.

The story came out in our April 28 issue, and we posted it online on April 26, but we stagger the scheduling of all of our print-to-web stories on social media so they go out into the world over the next two weeks of the print edition’s run.

The gay Republicans story happened to post to social media the morning after Trump controversially fired FBI Director James Comey, so Georgia Voice readers were extra fired up that day. And they let Kennedy and Anderson have it. Hard.

You can visit the thread to get a taste of the reaction. Supporters of the two must have gotten wind of the story and the comments a week later because we then got hit with some people being angry at the people being angry about Kennedy and Anderson’s views and comments. And so on and so forth.

The uproar reminded me why I’ve always had a curious fascination with, and grudging respect for, gay Republicans, or at least the ones who will speak up about their views. And I don’t mean the Milo Yiannopouloses of the world – the ones who are clearly just trolling people to get attention and build their brand. I mean the ones who will tell other LGBT people how they feel politically and why, knowing that they’re going to get absolutely ripped apart by most in response.

While I admit to that grudging respect, what I don’t respect is ignorance. Ignorance is dangerous. And that’s what Kennedy displayed in his comments about supporting the Trump administration withdrawing President Obama’s guidance on keeping trans kids safe in public schools.

“If you have man parts, you use the men’s room and locker. If you have female sexual parts, you use the women’s locker room,” he said.

To do otherwise is unfair to the kids, he said. Yes, the old line about trans people being sexual predators. Which, curiously, had always been the line homophobes used against gay men.

A couple people asked why Kennedy and Anderson were given the spotlight in the first place. The reaction to the story itself answers that. There are many of us that are clearly miles apart in our views, and that deserves to be examined and discussed.

The vitriol was not unexpected, and tapping into that kind of anger and frustration can and often does lead to positive change when managed with intent. But there are also answers to be found when the screaming subsides.

10 Responses

  1. Daniel English

    Gay Republican often means gay racist, gay snob, and more. After having the former leader of the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans go on some batsh*t crazy rant about God and Christianity. I just realize they are Christian fundamentalist xenophobic racist just like their straight counterparts! Being gay doesn’t equal being tolerant especially when you are a Southern upper middle class to wealthy white male!

    Reply
    • Mark

      You sound like a self righteous bigot. Whatever point you were trying to make was completely lost with your sweeping generalizations and intolerance.

      Reply
    • Thrifty mm

      You sound as intolerant as the people you post about. You define peoples character by their political beliefs Without even stepping foot into their presence.

      Reply
      • Daniel English

        Darling that is because your beliefs direct your politics. Your political views don’t come from a vacuum. If you were any sort of thinker you would realize that.

  2. Jeffrey King

    As a gay Republican I am none of the things that most people love to claim that I am. I am a lover of Liberty and that means that I want the best for my country and all those that love it. I care not about your race or sexual persuasion. I am relatively poor, so it’s not a money thing with me and besides Liberals are the richest people in the country. Check Forbes top 100. For me it is a personal choice and I just believe in open-minded thought and not coerced demands that I see on the left. I am for conversation and not emotional diatribes. I am for Capitalism because I have seen what has come of people in Socialist countries. I want to live and let live and the left is totally against that now. I need no more stipulations on how I live my life. I do not have to believe as you believe and that is the beauty of America. Tolerance should go both ways and Trump was the first Presidential candidate that went in Pro Gay. Others converted later on in their journeys. Go Trump. Open our country to a new beautiful life.

    Reply
    • Ron

      …Jeffrey King… I’m a gay male who votes for President Trump and i agree 100% with what you wrote… Ron

      Reply
    • Daniel English

      The thing is you can’t honestly talk about minority rights without having to admit the GOP has done nothing but work against them. How many school teachers were labeled pedophiles due to being gay by the GOP? How many women were sexually harassed and not given equal pay due to the GOP? How many black men can’t even see their families because they are incarcerated in for-profit prisons owned by the GOP? The list goes on and on. The truth is you and those like you defending the GOP can’t even admit they are the source of many ills aimed at the LGBT community alone. That is why you are considered traitors to your very minority. Because you rubber stamp everything the GOP does. Democrats don’t do that nor does any other political party. But the GOP falls in line to keep power no matter how badly it harms others.

      Reply
  3. Geo

    I find these comments interesting. As an REGISTERED INDEPENDENT who is gay, a minority and LEGAL immigrant I find it interesting that here and on their FB page people are screaming racism and inequality. RACISM and INEQUALITY coming from the majority of “white males” who’ve had life skewed in their favor, white males who for them “racism” will be nothing more than words. Your “white guilt” is insulting and offensive. You never owned any slaves and people today never picked any cotton.

    WE AS MINORITIES DO NOT NEED YOU RUNNING TO OUR DEFENSE TO ASSUAGE YOUR CONSCIENCE…YOU ARE NOT THE MASTERS OF THE PLANTATION ANY MORE!

    Arch & Avry are entitled to their opinions and while other opinions may differ I find it amazing the moral high horse democrats are taking. The same democrats whose parties history includes the creation of the KKK. Democrats who supported a Democratic president (Roosevelt) to unlawfully seize and confine Japanese-Americans in concentration camps. Japanese Americans forcibly and illegally removed because of their ethnic heritage. Democrats who with their president Carter had minority students LEGALLY here on visas seized and deported simply because of their ethnic heritage.

    Again…tell me who’s party is racist? As I read these comments full of hate, spite and venom it just confirms to me that conservatives are more open and inclusive not to mention tolerant of differing views. These screen captures will prove useful in future posts in my independent groups.

    Reply
    • Daniel English

      Comparing Democrats today to the Democrats of the 1850s is ridiculous. Everyone knows after the Civil War that Southern Democrats took up with the Klan. They worked to inhibit the rights of blacks. Those Southern Democrats were called Dixiecrats. When the fight for Civil Rights became part of the agenda of the national Democratic party they fled the ship. They became Republicans and that is why the Republicans tend to dominate the South. Like I said learn your history.

      Reply
  4. Jeffrey

    God bless Arch Kennedy and Avery Anderson. You two are great Americans. Patriots! We support you!

    Reply

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