Fox News host Tucker Carlson is no stranger to homophobic and transphobic rhetoric, but a new excerpt from his college yearbook shows the longevity of his anti-LGBTQ animus.
In a page from Trinity College’s 1991 yearbook, Carlson is listed as being a member of the “Dan White Society” and the “Jesse Helms Foundation.”
White is infamous for assassinating LGBTQ icon Harvey Milk, America’s first openly gay elected official, as well as San Francisco Mayor George Moscone on November 27, 1978.
Helms, a Republican who served as Senator from North Carolina from 1973 to 2003, was known for his racist views and outspoken opposition to LGBTQ people, including calling gay people “weak, morally sick wretches.”
Perhaps this is the story that @TuckerCarlson was trying to get ahead of. In his college yearbook, he listed himself as a member of the "Dan White Society."
Dan White was the man who murdered Harvey Milk. pic.twitter.com/TYklyfC8tS
— Travis Akers (@travisakers) April 21, 2021
After an image of the yearbook was shared on Twitter by Travis Akers, a veteran intelligence officer and activist, Carlson was pilloried for referencing White and Helms.
Former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who served under President Obama from 2009 to 2017, contrasted Harvey Milk’s Navy career with Carlson’s lack of service.
Mabus noted that Milk was a Navy diver, “one of [the] toughest jobs there is,” until he was discharged for being gay, and that a ship had been named for him, the USNS Harvey Milk, because he “represented our values.”
#HarveyMilk was a Navy diver (1 of toughest jobs there is)who was kicked out only for being gay. Made our Navy weaker. I named a ship after #HarveyMilk bec/ he represented our values & he served. Still trying to learn which branch #TuckerCarlson served in https://t.co/rEGnLr7I4v
— Ray Mabus (@SECNAV75) April 21, 2021
LGBTQ activist Cleve Jones, who created the AIDS Memorial Quilt, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Carlson referencing White in his yearbook was “truly despicable and well beyond the garden variety homophobic crap we’ve come to expect from this guy.”
“Dan White was an assassin who murdered the Mayor of San Francisco and a San Francisco City Supervisor in cold blood,” Jones said. “I just can’t wrap my mind around the depth of his depravity.”
After Carlson’s yearbook came to light, writer and activist Jeremy Hooper shared a letter to the editor Carlson reportedly sent to Trinity’s student newspaper, the Tripod, calling homosexuality as “unnatural.”
“I am offended by the idea that everyone who objects to homosexuality is a homophobe,” Carlson wrote. “Surely there are reasons other than ‘ignorance’ and ‘bigotry’ that a person might consider homosexual acts wrong.”
Carlson then called gay sex “unnatural and unhealthy” and said that “no amount of education or consideration has changed my view.”
He also used a classic homophobic trope: claiming to have gay friends to justify his anti-gay attitudes.
“I don’t hate gay people at all; some of my friends are gay…. I just think that objectively speaking homosexual acts are wrong,” he wrote.
— Jeremy Hooper (@goodasyou) April 21, 2021
While Carlson hasn’t commented on his anti-gay yearbook references, he lashed out earlier this week at Washington Post journalist Erik Wemple, after seemingly learning that Wemple had been contacting his college acquaintances.
Calling Wemple a “mentally unbalanced middle-aged man,” Carlson said the Post writer had pulled his “dusty college yearbook” and was trying to “see if we’d done anything naughty at the age of 19.”
Earlier this month, Carlson devoted multiple segments to attacking transgender people, including calling the trans community a threat to the “perpetuation of the species.”
Carlson also claimed that providing transgender youth with access to gender-affirming health care increases their risk of suicidal ideation, and called hormone therapy “chemical castration.”
It continues a pattern of anti-transgender rhetoric by Carlson, after he last year called trans youth “grotesque” and a “nationwide epidemic.”
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