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Gay Trump Supporter Says He Faces Discrimination for Wearing MAGA Hat

Gay Trump Supporter Says He Faces Discrimination for Wearing MAGA Hat

Sure, Jan.

On what may be the slowest news day San Francisco has ever experienced, local station KRON aired a 10-minute profile on a gay man who likes to wear a Donald Trump hat. Max Guglielmelli, the subject of the piece, has made a habit of wearing his red "Make America Great Again" hat around the Castro district, where he says some people have hurt his feelings.

"I get a lot of dirty looks," he says in the segment, which accompanies a separate documentary entitled MAGA HAT(E). "When I'm getting coffee or whatever, people behind the counter make no eye contact. They don't want to see my face."

A former soldier who served under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Guglielmelli bounced from one scene to another for several years. He identified as a liberal during his time in the U.S. Army, and after leaving, he engaged in what he calls "gender-bending, wearing makeup, and skirts," joining the Radical Faeries.

Ironically, Guglielmelli says on his personal website that he left the army because it was too conservative. An event listing credits him as performing as a "disco slut" at a gay party in 2016, and he spoke at a "Bawdy Storytelling" event the year prior.

"I really wanted to express myself," he says. "Be more unique."

But that apparently wasn't unique enough and so after not bothering to vote in 2016, Guglielmelli now identifies as a Republican. "I started to question everything," he recalls. "The more educated I became, the more conservative I became in 2017."

Ultimately, Guglielmelli told KRON it all comes down to money: "Taxes, hello! Tax, tax, tax!"

"The Democrats want to tax everything," he says, despite the fact that data from the Commerce Department shows Trump's tax breaks have primarily benefited the rich and tax refunds dropped by 16 percent last year. "They want to take our rights away, infringe on our freedoms."

In addition to cutting taxes, issues now important to Guglielmelli include giving favorable treatment to business owners, lowering unemployment, and supporting veterans. But LGBTQ+ members of the military are not faring well under the current administration, which is attempting to block transgender people from serving openly and has pushed a "Deploy or Get Out" policy resulting in the discharge of people with HIV.

"This President likes you," he maintains. "He's not going to take rights away from you. [...] He's OK with gay marriage. He's OK with gay people."

Those points are again extremely suspect. In addition to claiming he was for "traditional marriage" in 2015 and vowing to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn marriage equality if elected president, GLAAD reports that his administration is responsible for 129 attacks on the LGBTQ+ community during Trump's 1,009 days in office. That's an average of one attack every 7.82 days.

Just in the last few weeks, the Trump administration has voiced its support for schools that want to ban LGBTQ+ content, told a town in Iowa to remove its rainbow crosswalks, stopped tracking anti-LGBTQ+ bullying, and submitted briefs to the Supreme Court opposing job protections for queer people.

But cognitive dissonance is a feature in Guglielmelli's politics, not a bug.

His Facebook header image is a picture of him wearing a Proud Boys uniform at what he describes as a "meet up in the North Bay," despite the fact that the far-right group's cofounder, Gavin McInnes, has a long history of using anti-LGBTQ+ slurs. The Proud Boys were also accused of assaulting a gay man with a disability earlier this year.

Apparently confused partisanship runs in the family, however: Guglielmelli is currently dating a Castro resident who wears a U.S. Border Patrol hat. "It takes a lot of guts to do that," he says of his boyfriend's fashion choice.

Actually, it takes guts to be an LGBTQ+ immigrant: The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's policies under Trump have resulted in dozens of transgender migrants being sent to unsafe countries where they face violence while their asylum claims are processed. Asylum seeker Camila Diaz Cordova was murdered in 2019 after being sent back to El Salvador.

The KRON segment seems to have come about after Guglielmelli tweeted at the station that he wanted to be profiled. Five days ago, he tweeted, "I would love to discuss my experience being gay and wearing my Trump gear in the Castro! I'm there all the time!"

Reporter Amy Larson followed up a few hours later, "Can I interview you on Monday? DM me!"

RELATED | Gay Republican Group Leader Quits Over Trump Endorsement

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Matt Baume