A gay Republican running for the North Carolina state legislature says transgender people don’t belong in the military because they’re “mentally challenged” and might “snap” and shoot their comrades.
Peter Boykin, a founder of Gays for Trump and a former online porn performer, made the comments in an interview with The Daily Beast. He’s running for the North Carolina House of Representatives in the liberal-leaning 58th District, centered on Greensboro in Guilford County.
He also brought up the cost of health care for trans troops, even though studies have indicated that only a small number would seek gender-confirmation surgery after joining the military and that the cost would be minimal.
“As long as there are troops and veterans out there who are not getting the care that they should … I couldn’t care less about transgender [people] getting an elective surgery,” Boykin told the Beast. “People already have enough problems with PTSD, I don’t think it’s a good idea to give someone going through that type of change a weapon. They might snap and turn it on their fellow soldiers.”
Despite Donald Trump’s attempts to bar trans people from the military (currently blocked by courts) and other anti-LGBT actions, Boykin contended the president is pro-LGBT. The military ban is “a business move, not a transphobic move,” he said, adding that Trump is “probably still friends with Caitlyn Jenner.” (Jenner, however, recently said the Trump administration is the “worst ever” on trans issues.)
“He is not against the gays at all. He is for all Americans and protecting all Americans,” Boykin said. “Donald Trump has always been pro-LGBT. He owned pageants, hotels, he works with gay people.”
Boykin was once a Democrat, then an independent, and switched his party affiliation to Republican in 2012, the Beast reports. His platform includes “a crackdown on illegal immigration, a protection of religious liberty, and authorized gun safety plans for schools and churches,” according to the site.
Now 40, he was a webcam model for a porn site called Pete’s Young and Wild Adventures in a Gay Wonderland 17 years ago. He “masturbated in front of his webcam for the Men with Cams Voyeur Club, a member-exclusive porn service” and “sold autographed underwear as well as his personal sex toy,” the Beast reports.
“This is not something I would do today,” Boykin said. “If people are going to hold on to something I did from 20 years ago, so be it. But really, people change.” He also once a contestant on a local reality TV show, Entrepreneurs, modeled on Trump’s show The Apprentice.
Greensboro, home to one of the University of North Carolina campuses, is heavily Democratic and has a large LGBT population. Its current state representative, Democrat Amos Quick, ran unopposed in 2016. He has one opponent this year in the Democratic primary, Katelyn Flippen, according to Ballotpedia. Boykin has no opponent in the Republican primary. Both primaries will be held May 8.
Gregory T. Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans, declined to comment to the Beast on Boykin’s campaign. Officials with the Guilford County Republican Party did not respond to the site’s requests for comment.