Broadway legend and LGBTQ ally Patti LuPone is being criticized on social media for telling Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to “come out.”
Graham came to the defense of Donald Trump this week after Trump tweeted racist comments telling four congresswomen to “go home.” He also allowed a crowd at one of his rallies to chant “send her back,” in response to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
LuPone apparently took issue to Graham’s defense of Trump’s racism, issuing a tweet calling the senator a “disgrace.”
“Lindsey Graham you are a disgrace,” she wrote. “On a personal note, why don’t you just bite the bullet and come out. You might just come to your senses.”
Lindsey Graham you are a disgrace. On a personal note, why don’t you just bite the bullet and come out. You might just come to your senses.
But LuPone’s replies quickly filled with people criticizing her for using homophobic tropes in attacking Graham.
“Wow! Patti LuPone is homophobic! Who knew?” one user wrote.
Another noted the “double standards at play here. Imagine a conservative tweeting this at Anderson Cooper. It would be national news.”
“Don’t use us as a weapon, Patti,” said one response, with another tweeting, “Gay bashing, how progressive.”
“Lindsey Graham may be a disgrace, and many other things I don’t like,” user @ryanfield tweeted. “But pay attention, YOU do NOT have the right to tell any gay person anywhere when and where to come out. No one coming from a place of privilege has that right.”
However, not everyone criticized LuPone, with some defending her use of sexuality in attacking Graham.
“Y’all need to back up off Ms. Patti,” @fefeeleyjr wrote. “This isn’t homophobic. Everyone knows that Lindsey Graham is gay, he even has a code name on Capitol Hill. I have no beef with that. What I do have a problem with, is his bad policies that hurt Americans. DRAG HIM PATTI! DRAG HIM!”
LuPone has yet to comment on the backlash, or remove the tweet.
Graham is no stranger to attacks based on sexuality. Last year he told TMZ that he was not gay, after comedian Chelsea Handler accused him of being closeted.
Graham’s sexuality has long been the subject of speculation, particularly following his failed presidential run in 2015, when there was a proliferation of stories about his “bachelor” status. He was also forced to defend himself as “not defective” just because he had not married.
“If you’re wondering why Republicans took a sick day today, it’s probably because it’s #NationalComingOutDay,” Handler tweeted last October. “Looking at you @LindseyGrahamSC.”
Handler was heavily criticized for her tweet, with artist Jean-Paul Bevilacqua writing, “Why is there such a gulf in understanding this fact: being gay is not something to shame or embarrass someone with. It’s staggering that, at this point, people who appear to be our community’s allies still don’t get it.”
Responding to Handler’s tweet, Graham told TMZ, ““Number one, she knows zero about me. To the extent that it matters, I’m not gay.”
The South Carolina senator said that Handler’s comments didn’t reflect well on her, adding: “I don’t know how it makes us a better country, but it’s up to her, not me.”
“It’s a free country; she can say what she wants to say. I don’t care,” Graham said. “I don’t think much about what she says at all. She wants to live her life that way, it’s up to her.”
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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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