Milo Yiannopoulos has released a statement via his Facebook page reaffirming his position that he did not endorse any form of pedophilia.
I am a gay man, and a child abuse victim.
I would like to restate my utter disgust at adults who sexually abuse minors. I am horrified by pedophilia and I have devoted large portions of my career as a journalist to exposing child abusers. I’ve outed three of them, in fact — three more than most of my critics. And I’ve repeatedly expressed disgust at pedophilia in my feature and opinion writing. My professional record is very clear.
But I do understand that these videos, even though some of them are edited deceptively, paint a different picture.
I’m partly to blame. My own experiences as a victim led me to believe I could say anything I wanted to on this subject, no matter how outrageous. But I understand that my usual blend of British sarcasm, provocation and gallows humor might have come across as flippancy, a lack of care for other victims or, worse, “advocacy.” I deeply regret that. People deal with things from their past in different ways.
As to some of the specific claims being made, sometimes things tumble out of your mouth on these long, late-night live-streams, when everyone is spit-balling, that are incompletely expressed or not what you intended. Nonetheless, I’ve reviewed the tapes that appeared last night in their proper full context and I don’t believe they say what is being reported.
I do not advocate for illegal behavior. I explicitly say on the tapes that I think the current age of consent is “about right.”
I do not believe sex with 13-year-olds is okay. When I mentioned the number 13, I was talking about the age I lost my own virginity.
I shouldn’t have used the word “boy” — which gay men often do to describe young men of consenting age — instead of “young man.” That was an error.
I am certainly guilty of imprecise language, which I regret.
Anyone who suggests I turn a blind eye to illegal activity or to the abuse of minors is unequivocally wrong. I am implacably opposed to the normalization of pedophilia and I will continue to report and speak accordingly.
A note for idiots (UPDATED):
I do not support pedophilia. Period. It is a vile and disgusting crime, perhaps the very worst. There are selectively edited videos doing the rounds, as part of a co-ordinated effort to discredit me from establishment Republicans, that suggest I am soft on the subject.
If it somehow comes across (through my own sloppy phrasing or through deceptive editing) that I meant any of the ugly things alleged, let me set the record straight: I am completely disgusted by the abuse of children.
Some facts to consider:
1. I have outed THREE pedophiles in my career as a journalist. That’s three more than any of my critics and a peculiar strategy for a supposed pedophile apologist.
(a) Luke Bozier, former business partner of Louise Mensch
(b) Nicholas Nyberg, anti-GamerGate activist who self-described as a pedophile and white nationalist
(c) Chris Leydon, a London photographer who has a rape trial starting March 13 thanks to my reporting.
2. I have repeatedly expressed disgust at pedophiles in my journalism.
3. I have never defended and would never defend child abusers, as my reporting history shows. The world is messy and complicated, and I recognize it as such, as this furore demonstrates. But that is a red line for any decent person.
4. The videos do not show what people say they show. I *did* joke about giving better head as a result of clerical sexual abuse committed against me when I was a teen. If I choose to deal in an edgy way on an internet livestream with a crime I was the victim of that’s my prerogative. It’s no different to gallows humor from AIDS sufferers.
5. National Review, whose journalists are tweeting about this, published an article defending Salon for giving a pedophile a platform.
6. I did say that there are relationships between younger men and older men that can help a young gay man escape from a lack of support or understanding at home. That’s perfectly true and every gay man knows it. But I was not talking about anything illegal and I was not referring to pre-pubescent boys.
7. I said in the same “Drunken Peasants” podcast from which the footage is taken that I agree with the current age of consent.
8. I shouldn’t have used the word “boy” when I talked about those relationships between older men and younger gay men. (I was talking about my own relationship when I was 17 with a man who was 29. The age of consent in the UK is 16.) That was a mistake. Gay men often use the word “boy” when they refer to consenting adults. I understand that heterosexual people might not know that, so it was a sloppy choice of words that I regret.
9. This rush to judgment from establishment conservatives who hate Trump as much as they hate me, before I have had any chance to provide context or a response, is one of the big reasons gays vote Democrat.
10. In case there is any lingering doubt, here’s me, in the same interview the other footage is taken from, affirming that the current legal age of consent is about right: “And I think the law is probably about right. It’s probably roughly the right age. I think it’s probably about ok. But there are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age. I certainly consider myself to be one of them, people who were sexually active younger. I think it particularly happens in the gay world, by the way.”
From the backwoods of Michigan, Thomas Dishaw is writer and health hacker. Thomas currently resides outside Philadelphia with his wife and dog. You can support Thomas' work by making a donation below or following him on Instagram. You can reach Thomas via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.