Why the Internet Is Enraged by out Magazine's Profile of Milo Yiannopoulos

September 21st 2016

Tricia Tongco

Milo Yiannopoulos is known as many things – Leslie Jones' online harasser, self-proclaimed "Breitbart's dangerous fa**ot," alt-right icon...the cover star of Out Magazine, a publication geared toward the LGBTQ community.

Once the lengthy profile on Yiannopoulos (roughly 5,200 words) was published, people on social media quickly pointed out the problematic way Out treated their subject. The following editor's note was added:

"It should not need saying that the views expressed by the subject of this piece in no way represent the opinions of this magazine, but in this era of social media tribalism, the mere act of covering a contentious person can be misinterpreted as an endorsement. If LGBTQ media takes its responsibilities seriously we can’t shy away from covering queer people who are at the center of this highly polarized election year, and we ask you to assess Milos Yiannopoulos, the focus of this profile, on his own words without mistaking them for ours. "

According to critics of the piece, the photos and interview did not accurately represent Yiannopoulos, the threat his appeal poses, nor the damage he has done.

Bloomberg describes him as "the loudest defender of the new, Trump-led ultraconservatism, standing athwart history, shouting to stop immigrants, feminists, political correctness, and any non-Western culture."

While the profile is full of Yiannopoulos's trademark bigotry, people were especially outraged over a comment he made about trans people (which notably was not challenged by the writer in the piece):

"With a sigh, he gazes out the window. He says he wishes more people appreciated the everyday humor in life. 'You really expect me to believe that I shouldn’t laugh about trannies? It’s hilarious. Like, dude thinks he’s a woman?' He bursts into a fit of laughter, struggling to catch his breath."

Twitter users also criticized Out for uncritically amplifying voices such as Yiannopoulos's.