In a news story that sounds eerily like a satiric plot line of a drag performance, an anti-gay-marriage political candidate was outted as a former drag queen, provoking the ire of his potential constituents and coming in dead last in the race. While news outlets were very concerned about Steve Wile’s former life as “Miss Mona Sinclaire” in the days before the primary, very few of them noticed when the votes rolled in and he found himself in without a seat in North Carolina’s State Senate.
The irony of his anti-gay platform and his former life as the emcee of a drag show got past no one — especially the constituents North Carolina’s Senate District 31, who are known for being very conservative. Until he resigned in December to take a private-sector job, the district was represented by Peter Brunstetter who voted in favor of bills that loosened gun restrictions and required a 24-hour wait period before a woman could receive an abortion, and even sponsored an amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. That’s the conservative trifecta, right there.
So it really shouldn’t be surprising, then, that a man who used to wear more eye shadow than I wear on my best day would come in third in a primary with three people. What’s really surprising is that he managed to eek out the 27.49 percent he ended up getting.
The decisive winner of the primary was Joyce Krawiec — a female version of Brunstetter, who currently serves as the vice chairwoman of the state Republican Party, grassroots chairwoman of the N.C. Federation of Republican women, and grassroots coordinator for the state chapter of FreedomWorks. While she’ll still have to run in November’s primary, she will be appointed to fill the district’s vacant seat as soon as she is officially nominated by the local party.
Wiles was initially confronted about his past last year when he ran for a county commissioner seat, but denied that he was the same Steve Wiles listed in multiple places on the internet as “Mona Sinclaire.” He came clean just before the primary when the owner of the gay nightclub in question told the Winston Salem Journal that Wiles and Sinclaire were, in fact, the same person.
Wiles is also listed on the Miss Gay America’s “Register of Suspended Contestants/Affiliates” as a “former promoter of Miss Gay Eastern States America and a city preliminary promoter for Miss Gay North Carolina America” who was removed from the organization for “conduct unbecoming to a Promoter of the Miss Gay America pageant system.”
While I’m itching to know what “conduct unbecoming” of the organization is, I’ll hold my questions in favor of his wordy explanation of his past, which he posted to Facebook, though the post has since been deleted:
My job was embarrassing – I had to have a job! Nobody died, leaving me a millionaire capable of living in North Carolina’s most expensive neighborhood. One thing I will say, I learned from my mistakes – the Republican party, under the leadership of Scott Cumbie who threatened me with my past if I ran against an incumbent Republican, seem intent to fight within the party and join in the fight with every bigot and racist they can find. I understand the gay community does not share my support for the Marriage Amendment – I RESPECT THAT and am very happy to discuss my views with any of my friends in the Democrat party and gay community. Meanwhile, I regret the fact that something so trivial would cloud an otherwise decent campaign….What more could be expected though? When policy fails, attacks begin.”
After deleting that post, he decided instead to post about the clear contradiction between his past and his newfound support of banning gay people from getting married, a post that is still up and viewable on his Facebook:
The first paragraph of that Facebook post is full of so many contradictions I don’t know where to begin, though Wiles seems to think that you can stump for an amendment defining marriage as heterosexual only, fight for equality for all people and believe state control of marriage is unconstitutional all at the same time as long as you write “WITH THAT BEING SAID” in all caps.
Now that the Republican Party has largely abandoned him, it is likely that this is his last attempt at running for political office. That’s a shame, because I really would have enjoyed a reality TV show about an ex-drag-queen serving in the North Carolina legislature.