A North Carolina Republican candidate campaigning against same-sex marriage has been outed as a former drag queen performer known as ‘Miss Mona Sinclair’.
Steve Wiles, a conservative state Senate candidate, donned a wig and fake lashes for eight years at the now defunct gay-friendly lounge Club Odyssey, where he directed and emceed a weekly drag show.
The club’s former owner Randy Duggins told Winston-Salem Journal he broke his silence because he wants voters to know that Wiles is, he believes, a ‘hypocrite’ and ‘liar’.
Wiles, 34, initially denied the bombshell allegations, but came out yesterday admitting his past.
‘For me, from a religious standpoint, just for my life, for me, it just was not something that I wanted to continue,’ the fledgling politician told Business Insider about being a drag queen.
‘Of course it was an embarrassment, but you know, you move on. You live life, and you change, and you make yourself what you want yourself to be. And that’s where I am now.’
Revelation: Outspoken gay marriage opponent Steve Wiles, 34 (pictured) has been outed as having worked as a drag queen performer known as ‘Miss Mona Sinclair’
Wiles, who doesn’t consider himself ‘anti-gay’, supports a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in North Carolina. He considers marriage a religious institution, which he argues makes gay marriage un-Christian.
The real estate agent is competing against two other GOP candidates in a competitive primary scheduled for Tuesday, with observers noting he is up against well-connected politicos.
Wiles has not indicated whether he believes news of his past will hurt his chances, but said he has no intention of quitting.
Today, he responded to his critics in a long post on Facebook (see below) in which he claimed he ‘is for’ all Americans, regardless of their sexuality, and believes ‘state control of the institution of marriage is unconstitutional’.
Wiles, who refuses to comment on his own sexuality, said that he doesn’t believe being against same-sex marriage is the same thing as being anti-gay.
‘I don’t really understand how you can separate the fact that marriage is a religious institution,’ Wiles told Business Insider.
However to his former boss Randy Duggins, Wiles’ refusal to acknowledge his former days as a female impersonator while opposing marriage equality is a sign of hypocrisy.