LGBTQ Nation has named Milo Yiannopoulos its 2016 Person of the Year.
The alt-right troll, who was banned from Twitter last year for directing racist and sexist attacks against Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones, won the LGBT news site's "reader driven" poll to determine the year's "top newsmaker" by a landslide. Editors chose who would be included in their poll, though they did not attempt to sway the results.
Yiannopoulos received over 80,000 votes, followed by Mike Pence (23,000), Pulse victims (5,308), Ellen DeGeneres (2,639), Lin-Manuel Miranda (1,212).
As a "newsmaker," the gay Breitbart editor does make headlines. He started a scholarship for white men that The Daily Beast questioned for not doling out any funds. He preached transphobia on his Dangerous Faggot tour, which descended on U.S. college campuses last year. He campaigned for Donald Trump. The news that he received a book deal from Simon & Schuster, valued at $250,000, was met with swift and negative reactions. Lambda Literary warned the book would only further spread his “misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic, and racist rants.”
In an article announcing Yiannopoulos's win, LGBTQ Nation put the responsibility for the choice on its readers. However, the piece mentioned that alt-right influencers and media outlets like Breitbart campaigned for him.
"While the poll was intended for our regular audience, there were no stipulations on who could or couldn’t vote. Therefore, Milo Yiannopoulos won fair and square," noting that "Yiannopoulos’ legions of followers," who are presumably not the site's usual audience, rallied behind their candidate.
As a result, LGBTQ Nation argues it has no choice but to interview Yiannopoulos, a piece that will post next week. At Yiannopoulos's insistence, the outlet also amended the article to remove a mention of Yiannopoulos as a member of the alt-right, a term linked to white supremacy, racism, xenophobia, sexism, and homophobia. Yet in actuality, Yiannopoulos is a poster child for the movement.
When Out magazine, The Advocate's sister publication, published an interview with Yiannopoulos in September, it sparked a tidal wave of backlash from readers. Dozens of prominent LGBT journalists signed a petition reprimanding the LGBT publication. No such petition has so far materialized for LGBTQ Nation.
Regardless, many of LGBTQ Nation's actual readers are outraged by the choice of Yiannopoulos, with some galvanized to unfollow the self-described "world's most followed LGBTQ news source."
"If you posted a 'Reader's Choice' poll online in 2016 and DIDN'T think this would happen, you are pretty foolish. LGBTQ Nation, you need to do better," wrote reader Alison Hudson.
"Now unfollowing LGBTQ Nation. There was no reason his name had to be in the hat, and the excuse that alt-right and neo-Nazi pigs loaded the vote is an insult atop insult," added Jaimie Hileman.
Twitter was also filled with outrage.
— D N (@perfectly_queer) January 6, 2017
Anyway, according to Milo - and his simpering army of Igors- we don't exist. So well done, @lgbtqnation. Bewildered, desperate fuckers.
— Lucy O'Brien (@Luceobrien) January 6, 2017
Milo: *standing in front of giant swastika, zieg heiling* I'm not a nazi@lgbtqnation: Well, we better take his word for it then
— The Game Consultant (@tinstargames) January 5, 2017
— Sophie Cook Talks (@sophiecooktalks) January 5, 2017
— Supreme SJW Snoke (@SJWsnoke) January 6, 2017
@lgbtqnation So disappointing you would ignore the voice of your own community to feature a hateful bigot. Unfollowed
— Khizer Ashraf (@Khizermo) January 5, 2017
Of course, Yiannopoulos also has his supporters.
Vote now: Who should be LGBTQNation's Person of the Year? Milo or Mike Pence? https://t.co/nS2mzchj4l
— TRUMP WORLD (@Trump_World) December 21, 2016