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Gays Against Groomers Takes Hit in Membership in Wake of DeSantis’s Homophobia

Gays Against Groomers Takes Hit in Membership in Wake of DeSantis’s Homophobia

Jaimee Michell and David Leatherwood

The group’s lesbian founder, who is closely aligned with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who posted an overtly homophobic video last week, is sticking by him, resulting in members of the group leaving.

Gays Against Groomers, the anti-transgender hate group led by a lesbian political operative aligned with Florida’s homophobic Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, is imploding as it deals with infighting. Called out for its founder’s support for DeSantis despite his spreading of an explicitly hateful and homophobic video last week, prominent members of the group are jumping ship.

Long-time Gays Against Groomers supporter and board member David Leatherwood, a gay man based in Florida, announced on Twitter that he was done with the group.

On Wednesday morning, he tweeted news of his departure but claimed to still stand behind the message behind Gays Against Groomers.

“Today, I would like to announce that I am formally resigning from my board position with Gays Against Groomers and withdrawing my involvement from the organization,” Leatherwood wrote. “GAG is a great organization and I have nothing bad to say about the group or its leaders and wish them continued success.”

He continued, “My decision to part ways is strictly professional and on good terms with mutual understanding. I greatly admire the organization’s passion and effectiveness in the mission for protecting kids and making a positive impact on our culture.”

Outspoken Republican Caitlyn Jenner, who is trans and who also supported Gays Against Groomers once, called Leatherwood out and accused him of lying about the reason for his departure.

“Not the draft you sent my team. Some highly relevant omitted info. Hmmm… you can’t play it both ways,” Jenner wrote in reply to Leatherwood's resignation tweet.

By Wednesday evening, the tone of Leatherwood’s resignation had changed, and the former hate group member indicated that his departure stems from a disagreement over founder Jaimee Michell’s support for DeSantis.

In a tweet before 5 p.m., Leatherwood wrote, “My departure from GAG is directly related to the founder’s outspoken support for DeSantis, in light of his recent ad that is extremely anti-gay. While I respect everyone’s right to their own opinion, the homophobia coming from the DeSantis campaign is not something I want to be affiliated with in any way. Even by proxy thru GAG. That’s it. That’s the real reason.”

In 2022, Leatherwood admitted that his online persona is a grift meant to drive clicks and generate income. Much of what he posts is geared at outraging or offending people to up engagement with his accounts, the Tampa Bay Timesreported.

Gays Against Groomers launched a series of tweets on Wednesday, blasting Jenner as “the biggest hypocrite and fraud in this movement.”

“You are a fraud and the catalyst for the explosion of trans identifying youth and the erasure of women,” Michell lashed out on her personal Twitter account. “Us women and gays do not want you representing us, and we definitely do not need you. Get fu**ing rekt.”

A video posted by the DeSantis War Room last week attacking Trump’s relationships with the LGBTQ+ community, including his relationship with Jenner, backfired heavily on the flailing 2024 GOP presidential hopeful.

As well as Log Cabin Republicans, a prominent LGBTQ+ Republican group, criticized the video for its overt bigotry. Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, under former president Donald Trump’s administration, condemned the footage as “undeniably homophobic.” Embattled gay New York Rep. George Santos claimed he had been misled and said he couldn’t support DeSantis moving forward.

Michell recently spoke at a convention held by the anti-government extremist group Moms for Liberty, where she decried Hulu and other streaming services refusing to platform a hate-filled ad the group had produced.

“They don’t know how to handle us because they can’t dismiss us as homophobic, transphobic bigots like they do all of you,” Michell told the group.

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