Pulse shooting survivor Brandon Wolf has faced anger after saying that US Vice President Mike Pence wants to put gay people in “concentration camps.”
Wolf made the comments while talking to embattled MSNBC host Joy Reid, who has come under pressure over homophobic blog entries posted to her blog prior to her rise to fame.
Wolf – a survivor of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando who heads LGBT advocacy group The Dru Project – urged LGBT people to focus their fire on the Trump administration rather than Reid.
He said: “We have homophobic psychopaths running the United States government today. That’s the reality.”
Alluding to the confirmation of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has described homosexuality as a “perversion,” Wolf added: “We have a Secretary of State that believes that gay people are sinners based on who they are.
“If Mike Pence, God bless him, ended up in the White House, sitting behind that desk in the Oval Office, he would have us all in concentration camps hoping to pray away the gay.”
Wolf continued: “That’s what we’re actually up against. I’ve talked about the gay agenda, and when I was growing up people were terrified of me, pushing this gay agenda. The gay agenda is to survive until tomorrow.”
He added: “You ask LGBT people of colour and trans women what that’s like, and they’re not that much concerned with what Joy Reid might have said 12 years ago on a blog.
“They’re worried about what’s happening right now on Pennsylvania Avenue, and they’re wondering why the media didn’t rain down a firestorm on these homophobic psychopaths who are derailing the conversation and turning back the clock on everything we worked so hard on.
“I guess I’m just here today to implore the viewers to stay focused on what’s actually threatening this community.”
Wolf’s comments about Pence have ignited fury from far-right outlets.
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The activist has now suggested he misspoke and actually meant to say ‘conversion’ camps, alluding to Pence’s alleged support for gay ‘cure’ therapy.
Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “For the record, the word I had intended to use was ‘conversion’ camp. Freudian slip?
“If you ask survivors of conversion therapy about their experiences… I’m not sure how far off I was.”
After critical articles from Breitbart, the Daily Caller and other Trump-supporting publications, he quipped: “I survived my first haunt through the right wing media circuit. Initial thoughts: I thought trolls would be so much more clever.”
Reid continues to deny posting a number of anti-LGBT blogs to her website, though experts have cast doubt on her claim that hackers were responsible.
Speaking on AM Joy, Reid said: “Here’s what I know: I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things because they are completely alien to me, but I can definitely understand based on things I have tweeted and I have written in the past why some people don’t believe me.
“I have not been exempt from being dumb or cruel or hurtful to the very people I want to advocate for. I own that. I get it. And for that I am truly, truly sorry.”