Left: Milo Yiannopoulos speaks in December 2017.
(Photo by Michael Masters / Getty Images) Right:
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene ont he campaign trial in May 2022.
(Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images)
Milo Yiannopoulos was once a key player in the far-right shitposting scene that exploded around the 2016 election cycle, despite being openly gay and married to a man. He’s recently rebranded as an “ex-gay” Catholic culture warrior, whose anti-LGBTQ bigotry echoes much of the rhetoric emanating from the GOP. And now, he has a job in Congress as an intern for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. For anyone who missed Yiannopoulos’ rebranding—which was revealed in an interview with far-right anti-abortion blog LifeSiteNews last year—Greene hiring him may come as a bit of a surprise. The Georgia congresswoman has been at the helm of the GOP’s escalating war on LGBTQ rights. Greene and her colleagues have been regurgitating baseless, bigoted statements casting the LGBTQ community as “groomers” or sexual predators.
But ever since remerging with his new spiel, Yiannopoulos has become the poster child for “gay conversion therapy,” which is banned in more than 20 states. In his interview with LifeSiteNews, he said he’d undergone the conversion process, and he made violently anti-LGBTQ remarks, including calling trans people “demonic.” “In this time of gender madness, devoting myself to the male protector of the infant Jesus is an act of faith in God’s Holy Patriarch and a rejection of the terror of transsexuals,” he said. Yiannopoulos now continues to traffic in transphobia and homophobia on his Telegram channel and writes for Church Militant, a far-right blog catering to Catholics and Christian nationalists. In his bio, he describes himself as a “reformed sodomite” and “free speech martyr,” who’s preparing to “open a reparative therapy clinic for men plagued by same-sex attraction.”He was also billed as a speaker at the America First Political Action Convention (AFPAC) earlier this year, a conference for young far-right ultranationalists, hosted by white nationalist livestreamer Nick Fuentes. (Greene also spoke at that conference.)Yiannopoulos made a name for himself as a professional troll back in 2015, while writing for the right-wing Breitbart outlet. He fraternized with everyone from the Proud Boys to Islamophobic activists to white supremacists, like Richard Spencer.
But his rising profile as a shitposting “provocateur” quickly came tumbling down in 2017, when old interview clips surfaced that appeared to show him endorsing pedophilia. He’d asserted, for example, that relationships between younger boys and older men “can be hugely positive experiences.” Yiannopoulos tried to defend his comments in a press conference by saying that he’d been sexually abused as a child by a Catholic priest and that jokes were part of his coping mechanism. He lost his autobiography publishing deal and resigned from Breitbart alongside rumors that the publication was considering axing him over the controversy. He claimed to be broke. For years, especially within the far-right, Yiannopoulos’ name was more of a punchline than anything else. But earlier on Monday, Yiannopoulos hinted at his new job by posting a photo on his Telegram channel showing a congressional ID resting atop a Louis Vuitton-bound notebook.Greene, in a statement relayed through her spokesperson, confirmed Yiannopoulos’ employment. “So I have an intern that was raped by a priest as a young teen, was gay, has offended everyone at some point, turned his life back to Jesus and Church, and changed his life,” she said. “Great story!”But that wasn’t all she had to say. Greene didn’t miss the opportunity to swipe at her Democratic colleague Rep. Marie Newman, who has a transgender daughter. Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.