Peter Boykin, president of Gays for Trump, discusses his decision to support Mr. Trump and why he believes the GOP is more gay-friendly than the Democratic Party.
Peter Boykin joined Merion West’s Alex Baltzegar for an interview on July 6th to discuss his views on the relationship between the gay community and the Republican Party in the age of Trump.
Alex Baltzegar: Traditionally, many conservatives have opposed same-sex marriage, but in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality two years ago, do you think conservative attitudes are starting to shift? Peter Thiel, who is himself gay, even spoke at the Republican Convention last summer.
Peter Boykin: I would say that people have been misled into believing that conservatives are all against gay marriage or same-sex marriage. From what I’ve learned, only a small vocal section on the right has been against it. A lot of conservatives are against gay marriage because of the way liberal gays have been acting. If the liberal gays had done things properly and had their pride events without perverted outfits and acting promiscuous in public, then they would have had a better shot of getting same-sex marriage a long time ago.
I feel like conservative attitudes are not shifting, but rather conservatives are more free now to come out and say what they really wanted to say to begin with. I did have some people come up to us during a Trump rally and say that, at one time, they were against gay marriage. But now, regardless of what their church has told them: it’s two people loving each other, who want to get married.
The reason the GOP has had anti-homosexuality policies is because of who attends their town halls, meetings, and rises in the leadership. For example, we have GOP meetings, and hardly anybody shows up. So if you have these meetings and only die-hard right-wingers show-up, it’s easy for them to have their extreme and possibly anti-homosexual agenda disproportionately reflected in the platform.
Alex: Mike Pence received criticism from the Left and some members of the LGBT community for his support for gay conversion therapy. Do you think this was a legitimate criticism of the Vice President or was this taken out of context and overblown by the media?
Peter: I don’t believe Mike Pence directly supported it—just because there was a bill that came across his desk that he originally signed. There are plenty of bills that come across a governor’s desk.
The bill wasn’t giving money to shock therapy; it was an offshoot third party thing. It wasn’t something that Mike Pence read in the bill. He has come out on ABC and said gay people will not be discriminated against by the Trump administration.
In a couple of interviews, the Vice President basically said that if he saw gay people being discriminated against at an establishment, he would have a word with the owner or manager and be sure not to frequent that business ever again.
I met him. He signed my hat that had #GaysForTrump on it. He did look a little shocked. If anyone was getting shocked, it was Mike Pence. I don’t know if he heard me, but I said: “Yes, Governor Pence, there are gays that support you and Trump. We love you.” He shrugged his shoulders, gave me a kind of nod, signed the hat, and handed it back to me.
Same thing when I met with Jeff Sessions. Sessions is a wonderful person. He’s not racist. Just because someone is from Alabama doesn’t mean he’s a racist. I’ve dealt with a lot more racist people in other places, like Memphis, Tennessee, where the gays didn’t like interracial couples. When my husband, who is biracial, would go to the bathroom, they would approach me and say: “Why the hell would you get with a [racial epithet]?” These are gay people saying this. I’ve dealt with more criticism for being an interracial couple than I have for being gay.
Alex: That brings us to our next question which is, which party do you think is more pro-LGBT?
Peter: I actually believe that the GOP is. You got to think of it as a safety factor. The GOP and Trump is all about protecting all Americans: black, Asian, gay, straight, everything. We are trying to protect America. We are trying to defend every single person in America. The GOP itself is defending gay people in its ranks, and gay people have always been in the ranks.
I don’t believe that the Democrats are even for themselves. They are completely against themselves; they are not even the same party anymore. They don’t like America. They don’t like anything. I don’t see them as pro-gay, and the only reason why they are seen as pro-gay—just like Hillary Clinton being pro-trans—is because they want the money.
The Democrats always try to associate Christianity, which is sometimes seen as being anti-gay, with the GOP. Yet the strongest anti-homosexuality churches are black churches, which tend to be Democratic. Generally, black churches are way more anti-gay than Republican churches.
I personally believe that the GOP is a much better party for gay people. Conservatives might not want us to act crazy and weird. If you want to be a freak in the bedroom, keep it in the bedroom. You don’t need to show up to a pride event in really short shorts twerking because twerking is not a political statement.
I’ve always said that when we do our gay pride parades, we should wear what we normally wear and that we should invite allies to march with us. Then, no one would even be able to tell who is straight and who is gay. You want actual pride? We don’t need to be going over the top because I don’t want these events to be a celebration of sex. I want it to be a celebration of togetherness.
Unfortunately, we have given up on togetherness. We are called LGBTQALMNOP. We are so segregated it’s pathetic. We should just go back to being lesbians, gays, and bisexuals. Transgenders, I’ve always said, are okay, but they’re an entirely different movement.
Alex: Why should the LGBT community support President Trump?
Peter: Because President Trump is probably the first president that has been pro-gay before he ever ran for office. For God’s sake he dealt with beauty pageants all the time. Pageants are full of gay people. He hires probably thousands of gay people. He is pro-gay; he has always been pro-gay. He’s pro-black. He’s been pro-everything. Pro-American.
Donald Trump has been legitimately for gay people. He didn’t fly the rainbow flag as a gimmick. You think he flew the rainbow flag to get more votes? He probably lost some votes because he lost some of the evangelicals. Even the evangelicals are coming around. For instance, I had The Blaze reach out to me. I didn’t think Glenn Beck would want anything to do with Gays for Trump, but they want to help us. They realized that it’s not gay people they don’t like; it’s the disrespect that the liberal gays give.
I’ve said it multiple times to the liberal LGBT: if you’re going to call people homophobic and nasty names all day long, expect to be treated poorly in return. So you expect this Republican, who gets a bill across his desk that includes provisions for gay rights, to sign this bill when all he’s ever gotten is criticism from gay people?
So our deal as conservative gays is that we are trying to get Republican politicians to understand that these liberal gays do not represent all gay people. We have respect; we’re just like you, and we want rights. But we’re going after it a whole different way.
I’ve heard Gays for Trump called “rogue,” but I’ve always tried to make Gays for Trump the most inclusive group ever. As much as we may not like transgenders, we do have a lot of transgenders, who are for us.
I’ll be honest to them and say, “I don’t support everything you do, but I do support you.” It has gotten to the point where we tell Christians, “I understand you believe that we are all sinners, but I do respect the fact that you don’t want us to die or be thrown off buildings.” The worst thing a Republican is going to do is come up to me and say, “I’m going to pray for you. I don’t agree with your lifestyle, but I’ll pray for you.” That’s probably the worst I’m going to hear from a Republican.
A liberal person, however, will walk up to a Republican and say: “You should die.” In fact, I can’t have anything to do with the Left. They’re for abortion; they’ve killed 52 million people since 1972 with abortion. That’s about the same number of people lost in World War Two. So, no, I’m never going to be a leftist, never going to fall for that.
Alex: Thank you for joining us today, Mr. Boykin. Interesting work you’re doing getting gay Americans more involved with the Republican Party.
Peter: Thanks, happy to join you.