Milo Yiannopoulos Got Deplatformed By A Furry Con
An abbreviated list of places where Milo Yiannopoulos is not welcome: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Australia, Midwest Furfest.
For those who are blissfully unaware, Milo Yiannapoulos is a notorious right-wing “provocateur” (aka: troll) who is held up by much of the alt-right as their token gay man to prove that they aren’t homophobic (they are though). If I attempted to list all of the terrible things he’s done, I wouldn’t actually get to the point of this article, so just check out the “controversies” section of his Wikipeida page for a run down. You’ll get the idea.
He’s been banned by most popular social media platforms due to his grossly offensive behavior, as well as banned from the entire continent of Australia. Thankfully, this deplatforming has worked. A couple of weeks ago, Vice reported that Milo “can’t put food on the table” anymore. When questioned about this article, he called the journalist “too ugly” to interview him on the matter. Charming guy, right? He’s a real peach.
In a completely bizarre move by the “provocateur,” he “came out” as a furry. He then posted a picture on Telegram (one of the few social media networks that hasn’t ousted him) showing that he’d bought a ticket for the Midwest Furfest.
Once this information got out, the furry community was quick to push back. Midwest FurFest’s tweet about the incident received over 300 responses in less than a day and related word searches turned up thousands of tweets discussing the situation and urging the convention to swiftly ban him.
If he attends you're gonna have a drop in attendance from people who actually want to be there, a spike in people attending who just want to cause fights, and many more incidents to deal with
— yay sprinkle dirt! (@ICVRXS) September 15, 2019
Midwest Furfest made the official move today to ban Milo not just this year’s con, but for all future Midwest Furfest events. Major props to their Board for taking such swift action about an issue that would have been incredibly detrimental to their community.
There are good reasons to question the motivations behind this. He is, after all, a “provocateur” and the furry fandom is known for its inclusivity, especially those in the LGBTQ+ community. While Milo himself is a gay man, he has previously harassed trans people and other members of the community, and he also served as a Marshall at the Straight Pride Parade. It’s clear that his presence at this event would be extremely uncomfortable for many people, and it would be potentially dangerous as well. Someone who has frequently put his fellow LGBTQ+ community members in the crosshairs like this should not be welcomed at an event that’s supposed to feel safe and accepting.
My personal opinion is that he either wanted to get banned to get his name back in the headlines, or he wanted to attend with the sole purpose of making fun of attendees. Thankfully the latter won’t be happening now due to the ban, but he may kick up a fit and achieve his first goal. Yes, there’s irony in the fact that I’m writing a headline with his name in it here in response to this, but the importance of the story outweighed the potential to give him what he probably wants here. We should all be aware of what happened here so we can prevent similar incidents in the future.
There’s also a third option: he’s desperate and needs money. Maybe he somehow wants to tap into the emerging alt-right furry community (no seriously, that’s a thing now apparently) and gain a new following there. He can’t make money through his usual channels anymore since he’s been so thoroughly deplatformed, so he’s reaching out to a slowly booming subsect of an already obscure subculture out of desperation. There are a few furry accounts already defending him, but they are thankfully massively outweighed by the ones who support the ban.
I definitely don’t think he’s genuinely a furry, however. There’s too much potential to troll and manipulate the situation for this to be genuine. He is first and foremost a “provocateur,” after all. I feel bad for a fandom that’s already the butt of so many jokes having to deal with all of this. It’s truly awful. I’m sorry, furries, you don’t deserve this.
Frankly, furries have enough to worry about already, especially at this particular convention. In 2014 they were subjected to a gas attack. Then, about the same time that all this Milo stuff started to go down, there was another credible threat of an attack at this year’s con (according to the twitter user, authorities have been notified). The world is cruel to furries. Especially this particular con for some reason. Furries have gone beyond just being the butt of jokes (which in and of itself is already harmful), and have actually become the subject of real violence. Now a troll who incites violence has hitched his cart to their fandom. They just can’t catch a break.
The furry community is not my community, so I can’t speak on their behalf. However, the furry community does seem to run parallel to the many geeky corners of fandom that I find myself in, such as anime fandom or the general convention scene. Basically, who am I to judge their hobbies, really, when mine are in the same general wheelhouse? I have a lot of empathy for the situation even as curious outsider. If Milo had decided to insert himself into one of my communities, I would hope people would step up like Midwest Furfest did and ban him. I would not feel comfortable with him in my community, like if he decided to show up at SDCC. I hope that if he continues this desperate grasp for attention that he’s shut out of all spaces where he could do harm.
This has been a bizarre story, and I hope it’s a short lived one. He should be continued to be deplatformed, especially in places that are meant to be a safe haven for those he has already shown such disdain for in the past. Other vulnerable communities should keep an eye out for his next target and be prepared to ban together like the furry community did here. You are not welcome in these spaces, Milo.
Author: Angel Wilson
Stephanie “Angel” Wilson is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3.
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