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A Texas Republican Party staffer who claims to be “ex-gay” has been fired after recording himself attending the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6.
According to the Texas Tribune, Kevin Whitt’s social media also contains a video of him arguing with a Comet Ping Pong pizzeria employee over the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory as well as posts defending the white supremacist group Proud Boys, who reportedly played a key role in the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters, which left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer.
A Texas GOP spokesperson told the Tribune that the organization had severed ties with Whitt, who was hired as a field organizer in November, saying, “Information has come to light of some troubling video of one of our former employees. Due to this footage, we terminated our relationship.”
Whitt has previously claimed to be a former “homosexual, transsexual, drag queen and prostitute” and frequently supports anti-LGBTQ organizations seeking to block or reverse LGBTQ rights.
He made headlines last year after appearing in adverts for the conservative organization American Principles Project in Michigan, which attacked President Joe Biden and Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) over their support for the transgender community. Whitt claimed to be “ex-trans” and said he had overcome his gender dysphoria by embracing God.
Specifically attacking medical care for trans youth, Whitt said in one of the ads that children “need time” to develop a sense of gender, saying: “As a young teen, I thought I should be a woman. And 17 years later, I felt I should be a man again.”
Whitt has previously worked with anti-LGBTQ hate group MassResistance to fight against Drag Queen Story Time events, which feature drag queens reading stories to children. Whitt told MassResistance he was a former “homosexual, transsexual, drag queen and prostitute,” but that he had “found Jesus” and was now “free.”
“Ever since then my life has been so much better than it ever was, I’m so much happier than I ever was,” he said.
According to the Tribune, Whitt uploaded a video on Jan. 7 of him attending the attempted insurrection by Trump supporters on Jan. 6. Surrounded by people near an entrance to the Capitol building, Whitt can be heard saying, “This is the door of the Capitol. I’m trying to move as close as I can.”
Whitt told the Tribune that he didn’t actually enter the Capitol and was instead “being nosy.” He said he flew to D.C. to attend the Trump rally which preceded the riot, but didn’t attend due to how early he’d have to wake.
Instead, upon seeing the news of Trump supporters storming the Capitol, he said he “headed over to see what was happening,” per the Tribune.
That alone would have put him in violation of federal law regarding trespassing on federal property. But Whitt claims that after heading over to the Capitol to join the mob, and filming himself moving close an entrance, he reconsidered and “stepped outside [of the crowd] and got out of it.”
The Tribune highlighted another video of Whitt, filmed in December, verbally harassing an employee at Comet Ping Pong pizzeria on Connecticut Ave NW.
Comet was falsely accused by conspiracy theorists of being the base of a Democratic-run child sex-trafficking operation during the 2016 election — a claim that has been repeatedly debunked. But that didn’t deter Whitt, who filmed himself telling a female employee that she was working for a restaurant “that is known for pedophilia.”
“Y’all are abusing children. You are pedophiles. Do not eat here. All of y’all should leave,” he yells. “They are serving up dead kids. This place is known…for a restaurant that is sex trafficking children.”
Whitt joined other “ex-gay” activists in D.C. in 2019 to campaign against the Equality Act, a landmark piece of legislation that would enshrine LGBTQ anti-discrimination protections into federal law.
He claimed that he “never went though conversion therapy,” and said, “If God can change me, he can change anybody.”
That somewhat contradicts past claims Whitt has made, including calling Jesus his “conversion therapist.”
Conversion therapy is a heavily criticized practice that claims to change a person’s sexuality or gender identity, whether through talk therapy or more extreme methods such as aversion or shock therapy. It is increasingly being banned due to its harmful effects, and has been condemned by major medical organizations.
A number of former “ex-gay” leaders, who advocated for the practice during its heyday in the ’90s and ’00s, have since come out as gay and campaign against conversion therapy.
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