Doug Mastriano Loves Confederate Cosplay And Also Conversion Therapy
Doug Mastriano is the worst. He is so the worst that I literally could not settle on which terrible thing he did or said that is currently in the news to focus on, so I chose two of them. Aren't you all lucky!
Oh Hey, Here He Is In A Confederate Uniform!
\u201cExclusive: Donald Trump-backed Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano posed in a Confederate uniform for a faculty photo at the Army War College three years before retiring from the U.S. Army in 2017 https://t.co/DYeKERb4Qc\u201d— Reuters (@Reuters) 1661550708
On Friday, Reuters published a heretofore unseen picture of Mastriano wearing a Confederate uniform in a faculty photo at the Army War College, where he used to work before retiring from the Army. People familiar with the photo told Reuters that faculty members had been given the option of dressing as a historical figure, but he's the only one who decided to dress up like a traitorous slavery defender.
Now, I call bullshit on the people who claim "it's heritage not hate!" but Mastriano cannot even claim that. This man is an Italian from Jersey. The hell does he have to do with the Civil War? His people were probably not even here at that point. I mean, apparently there wereabout 500 soldiers who came from the Kingdom of Two Sicilies and served on the Confederate side of the Civil War (there were about 10,000 on the Union side), but they didn't even wear that uniform. They wore red blouses in honor of Garibaldi, which is kind of weird since they had just been fighting against Garibaldi. But whatever.
Mastriano can't claim he's honoring any ancestors, he can't claim he's honoring his heritage or even his own regional history — really, all he shares with Confederate soldiers is a penchant for white supremacist bullshit. If he were trying to honor his own heritage, he probably would have worn a red blouse. Though I suppose a black shirt might suit him better.
You Know What He Likes Besides The Civil War? CONVERSION THERAPY!
During an appearance on right-wing radio station Newstalk 103.7 FM this week, Mastriano actually came out in favor of conversion therapy, which, uh, is just not a thing you hear very often these days.
The show's host, Michele Janson, was complaining about current Governor Tom Wolf signing an executive order making Pennsylvania the 27th state to ban conversion therapy, the ridiculous, abusive and pseudoscientific practice of trying to turn a child straight.
\u201cWow. Republican Doug Mastriano just doubled down on his support of \u201cconversion therapy\u201d and agreed as a radio host smeared LGBTQ Americans as an \u201cactivist, political, ideological group.\u201d\u201d— MeidasTouch (@MeidasTouch) 1661554407
"This is disgusting to me, where bureaucrats and Tom Wolf and Josh Shapiro think it's okay to come in and threaten parents and therapists because their kids might be confused," he said, adding "Confused because of what's going on in the schools where they have graphic, pornographic books laid out in elementary school, teachers, some teachers who are out of control there and they're using their platform to confuse kids on gender and what have you."
I would like for Doug Mastriano to show us all these "graphic, pornographic books" that are supposedly laid out in elementary schools. Why do we never get to see any of this? If it's so endemic, then someone should have access to this supposedly hardcore pornography that kids are looking at during snack-time. But we never seem to see it. What a mystery!
Children can absolutely talk to therapists if they are confused about their gender identity or sexual orientation. No one has banned this. What can't be done, however, is for parents to haul in their children to see some skeevy therapist promising to Clockwork Orange them into heterosexuality. That's what's not legal. Because it's harmful and cruel and abusive. It also doesn't work! Because despite what these people think is going on in schools, you can't actually brainwash anyone into being gay or heterosexual or cis or trans. It doesn't work either way. People just are what they are. Children just are what they are. That's it, end of story.
In conclusion, please, Pennsylvania, get out there and vote for Josh Shapiro, because if this cafone becomes governor, we're all going to end up learning even more about him and how terrible he is, and we don't deserve that.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse