A year in review 2016: The rise of the racist, homophobic and misogynistic alt-right

The gift that keeps on giving — right into the new year

I don’t want to talk about the alt-right.

I don’t really even want to acknowledge their existence or use that name.

But the horrible mix of white supremacists, men’s rights activists, anti-Semites, homophobes, gamergaters and 4Chan trolls have gained a level of prominence that makes them hard to ignore.

That was underlined by Roosh V, the legal-rape enthusiast and alleged sewer-person, attempted to host covert meetings in a number of Canadian cities. The response from politicians, the media and regular people was swift and severe.

But still they rise. There are a small, but growing, number of people within the LGBT community who are attracted by the noxious ideologies embodied by this movement.

Best known is Milo Yiannopoulos, a gay man who came to prominence through Gamergate and commanded an army of Twitter trolls until he was banned from the platform.

In Canada, Theryn Meyer, a trans woman who was the head of Simon Fraser University’s men’s rights group, continues to draw the interest of hate-mongers like Breitbart News and Rebel Media.

Brooklyn Marie Fink, a transsexual woman, was charged with mischief for burning a rainbow flag at the University of British Columbia. For her, burning the flag was an act of civil disobedience against what she saw as overreaching political correctness of the LGBT-rights movement.

With the election of Donald Trump to the American presidency, it’s hard not to think that the alt-right will continue in their ascending public influence. And that’s sure to apply to the LGBT community as well.

Either way, I expect that we’ll be talking about the alt-right, and all of the misogyny, racism and various phobias that come along with them, for a long time to come.

This story is part of Xtra’s A Year in Review news picks for 2016.

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