Anti-Gay GOP North Carolina Senate Candidate is Former Drag Queen, But is Totally Not Gay

Steve Wiles, A GOP candidate for the state senate in North Carolina who is opposed to same-sex marriage, is a former drag queen who went by the name Mona Sinclair, and he's totally not gay.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports: Wiles

“I have already apologized to the people who matter most to me for the things I did when I was young,” Wiles said this week, declining to clarify for what he has apologized. The comment was made in the last of three separate interviews. At first, Wiles denied the claim.

“That’s not me,” Wiles said three weeks ago, referring to Mona Sinclair. Wiles responded “no” when asked whether he was gay. This week, Wiles’ campaign website, Facebook page and Twitter handle were taken down.

For about 14 years until 2010, Club Odyssey on Country Club Road was a nightclub where gay, lesbian and straight clientele could spend some money on drinks, relax with friends and, weekly, watch a show with talented female impersonators.

Wiles was a frequent patron in the late 1990s, Duggins said. Around 2001 and 2002, Wiles worked for Duggins as the show director, booking performers and running the show as Mona Sinclair, the emcee. At the time, Tomlinson also knew Wiles.


An online search for “Steven Wiles” and “Belews Creek,” the place he lists as his town of residence in campaign filings, turns up a link to the Miss Gay America website. Within the website, a webpage with Wiles’ name has been taken offline but the cached version was still accessible this week. The webpage lists a Steven Wiles as Mona Sinclair. It says he lives in Belews Creek and that he was a promoter of Miss Gay Eastern States America and a promoter for Miss Gay North Carolina America.

The webpage also says that Wiles was suspended for “conduct unbecoming to a promoter of the Miss Gay America pageant system,” according to the webpage, without providing more information.

Wiles explains himself in an interview with Business Insider:

"I think that everyone has their own choices to make and I'm fine with everyone making their own. For me, from a religious standpoint, just for my life, for me, it just was not something that I wanted to continue," Wiles said of his drag performances. "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."

Wiles declined to answer when Business Insider asked whether he considers himself an "ex-gay."

"No, no, I really wont make any comments on that," he said.

Wiles posted this on Facebook early Sunday:



  1. Sooze says

    Um Steve, I hate to break it to you, but States are in control of Marriage and States need to STAY in charge of marriage. Is the far right now going to start moving toward anyone who isn’t Christian can’t get married and all marriages must be performed by clergy and in a Church? I long ago came to the conclusion that these people are nuts, but they’re getting scarier by the minute.

  2. ToThePoint says

    May have started as a religious institution, but the government stepped in and created LEGAL protections and benefits for married couples. Now, by denying LEGAL rights and protections from some and only allowing a select group to participate, you are discriminating against human beings.

  3. BobN says

    @ ToThePoint

    “May have started as a religious institution…”

    But it didn’t. The modern institution of marriage has roots in Roman marriage — which was civil — and in English Common Law — which itself has roots predating Christianity.

    The early Church didn’t even much care for marriage and it took them 1000 years to co-opt it and make it a sacrament.

  4. pete n sfo says

    hey, queen… it’s already now established law so you can stop trying to pacify your conservative religious following.

    Let’s see, that just makes you a washed up drag queen, who doesn’t even understand your own politics.


  5. Chadd says

    Religion poisons everything. If it were not for religion, this man could be living a happy gay life and indulging his inner diva. Instead, he is just a sad political candidate trying to gain acceptance from those who have forced him into a life of self-denial. Life without mythology is so much better. Thank god I’m an atheist.

  6. jamal49 says

    In other words, that execrable psychosis called christianity has caused another bit of psychotic chaos in someone’s life. What poison that christian religion is!

  7. Filter says

    What I’m wondering about is how could a LGBTTTQQIIA person go from living more comfortably, more authentically, to being more repressed (especially in adulthood)?

    If you can escape the shackles of religious shame, what possesses a person to put them back on, seemingly voluntarily?

    This person is so sad.

    Moreover, what possesses them to get into politics after getting on the shame train? If I were in a place in life where I wasn’t willing to admit to a draggy, queer past, and unwilling to self identify as ex-gay while posturing as such, I wouldn’t be pushing myself into the public eye or trying to create changes outside myself.

    I wouldn’t become another talking head, saying things like “marriage is a religious institution, and gays getting married by civil servants and being acknowledged by the government and some of society infringes on the rights of the religious how see them as dirty sinners who deserve to be stoned to death.”

  8. litper says

    @PETEY it’s normal for straight guys to worship the object of their desire, what is not normal is when trans activists try to force effeminacy on gay men!

  9. Lery Laflamme says

    I’m a firm believer that the term ‘when the chickens come home to roost’ was coined for Republicans who decide to run for a seat in the Senate.

  10. JMC says

    The webpage also says that Wiles was suspended for “conduct unbecoming to a promoter of the Miss Gay America pageant system,” according to the webpage, without providing more information.

    I really hope Miss Gay America is forthcoming with the shady sh*t this guy pulled.

  11. says

    “…equality doesn’t mean infringing on someone else’s rights.”

    UGH. This stupidity again.

    How does the marriage between two people of the same gender infringe on someone’s else’s right to marry? Last time I checked, other countries have legalized gay marriage, and I haven’t seen any heterosexual married couples being forced to divorce and marry someone of the same gender under threat of death, no matter how much the evangelicals and right-wingers like to imagine it to be so.

  12. Jonathan says

    I recall chatting with Mona a few evenings at Odyssey a decade ago. A being on the edge really, of a drug addiction as I vaguely recollect but a deeper philosophical disquiet. Heard reports in latter years she’d shifted to male garb, a veritable Myra Breckinridge of sexual changes. Perhaps in national politics is the endless psychic mutability he/she seeks.

  13. says

    Oh, what a tangled mental web she weaves … One can only imagine what “conduct unbecoming to a promoter of the Miss Gay America pageant system” involves?

    Mona Sinclair, 2016!

  14. johnny says

    Sad, sad, sad.

    So, drag queen hangs up her dress and just puts on another type of drag: “Politician”.

    Both of them are just an act. There’s a damaged, self-loathing gay man behind both of those masks.

  15. P says

    I wrote Mona a little message:

    If “[m]arriage is a religious institute [sic – you mean ‘institution’]; plain and simple,” as you so un-eloquently put it, then I expect you spend considerable time lobbying to get the government out of marriage on all levels–federal and state, no? Have the good folks in Raleigh tell county clerks to stop issuing marriage licenses to everyone. See how far you get with that.

    Oh, that’s a completely unworkable solution and will never happen? Then perhaps you could at least honor the Equal Protection Clause’s guarantee of equality. That’s your next best option. Actually, face it: that’s your only option.

    Frankly, the best part of your story is that you feel the need to denigrate drag queens by dismissing your past as something unsavory. Those fine men have more balls than you’ll ever have. Because they actually have the courage to be who they are without disparaging others, Mona.

  16. Paul R says

    All the obvious hypocrisy and stupidity and mental illness aside, he can’t possibly have believed this wouldn’t come out, could he? Maybe if he’d done a couple performances in a big city and bowed out of the scene without making many acquaintances and moved away, it would be possible. But he was a prominent figure and served in several visible positions promoting gay events outside drag (and was fired from one in disgrace) in a medium-size town that doesn’t have a massive, vocal gay population—so he was a big fish in a small pond, as it were. No way could he expect not to have been remembered.

  17. anon says

    Roman marriage. It varied over time, but basically after you got married by the local consul (and most marriages were arranged) the couple and two witnesses would make a small ceremonial sacrifice at the local temple of Poseidon, though further from the coast it might have been Dionysus. Then the two families would celebrate with a party. In Europe this tripartite arrangement is still very common (town hall – church – party). The English/American tradition of taking the paperwork to the church to get it signed by the local priest started because of how the state church in England was financed by various mandates. A special marriage mass, which is a regular mass with the marriage blessing added in and has the bridal procession replacing the priestly procession, came out of vague German traditions and was normally used to bless royal or aristocratic marriages only until commoners started getting into the act much later. Most people could not afford to rent the church out, after all.

  18. says

    yup. he’s had to apologize to his family for doing something that needs no apology, and to “make up for it” he’s decided to be just like their bigoted selves.

    Dude, you were more man when you donned that dress than you’ve been since the day you took it off.

    On the positive side, should he ever resume drag again, we all now know he’d have nothing to TUCK.

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