‘Ex-gay’ Republican staffer who led protests against Drag Queen Story Time fired after attending Capitol riot
The Texas Republican Party says it has fired an ‘ex-gay’ staffer who recorded himself in the crowd during the storming of the US Capitol, and screamed about child abuse inside a pizza restaurant.
The Texas Tribune reports that the party has severed ties with Kevin Whitt, who was taken on as a field organiser in November, after the clips emerged.
The outlet reports that in addition to attending the Capitol protests, Whitt recorded himself arguing about the far-right ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy with an employee at a DC pizzeria, and made online posts defending the Proud Boys, a far-right group that Canada recently voted to classify as a white supremacist terrorist organisation.
A spokesperson for the party told the newspaper: “Information has come to light of some troubling video of one of our former employees. Due to this footage, we terminated our relationship.”
Sacked Republican staffer Kevin Whitt is an ‘ex-gay’ activist
Whitt is widely known for his ‘ex-gay’ activism, working with anti-LGBT+ hate group MassResistance and the so-called March for Freedom to promote the harmful and discredited idea that homosexuality can be cured.
He has led angry protests outside libraries opposing Drag Queen Story Hour events, claiming that sexual abuse is the “main root cause” for “a life of homosexuality”.
The ‘ex-gay’ activist gained more prominence ahead of the 2020 election when he starred in right-wing attack ads targeting Joe Biden.
Though Whitt has previously spoken at length about his former life as a gay man and a drag queen, the ads dubiously sought to present him as a trans woman who had detransitioned.
He has insisted that Jesus has ‘cured’ him of homosexuality, claiming: “I used to perform in every drag venue in Dallas. I used to host my own drag shows. Five and a half years ago I found Jesus and I got set free… Ever since then my life has been so much better than it ever was.
“Today I can honestly say that I have no desire for men, porn, masturbation, or to be a woman or drag queen.”
GOP staffer attended riot, yelled about sex abuse in pizza restaurant
According to the Texas Tribune, Whitt uploaded a video to Instagram after the Capitol riot on 6 January, in which he is heard on the Capitol grounds near to the entrance of the building.
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He can be heard narrating: “This is the door of the Capitol. I’m trying to move as close as I can.”
Whitt told the newspaper he was “being nosy” but did not enter the Capitol, and that he “stepped outside and got out of it” after the crowd got “rowdy”.
In another video posted by Whitt a month earlier, he confronts an employee at DC’s Comet Ping Pong pizzeria – the pizza restaurant at the centre of the far-right ‘Pizzagate‘ conspiracy theory.
A far-right activist was arrested in December 2016 after firing a semi-automatic rifle inside the building, after heading there to ‘investigate’ the baseless and discredited suggestions that it was the centre of a Democratic child sex trafficking ring.
Whitt perpetuates the conspiracy theory in his social media video, challenging an employee for working “in a restaurant that is known for paedophilia.”
He yelled: “Y’all are abusing children. You are paedophiles. Do not eat here. All of y’all should leave. They are serving up dead kids. This place is known… for a restaurant that is sex trafficking children.”