She had a close circle of gay friends. Then she founded Moms for Liberty.

Hypocrisy coming from the “family values” crowd may not always be surprising, but it’s never uplifting. In the case of Bridget Ziegler — the co-founder of anti-LGBTQ+ extremist group Moms for Liberty who is currently embroiled in a bisexual sex scandal — it’s especially frustrating. She refuses to resign her school board seat, none of her supporters seem to care, and apparently, the hypocrisy goes even deeper. Her gay former friends have now revealed to The Daily Beast that she once had close ties to the Miami gay community.

One of those ex-friends, Nishit Patel, recalled Bridget as caring and kind, with no shortage of gay friends. “I think [the Zieglers are] hypocrites, especially Bridget,” Patel said. “That’s what really bothers me about it, because I don’t think they believe the shit they spout, because they definitely don’t live it.”

Late last year, the nation got to witness how little they “live it.” Bridget’s husband Christian was accused of rape by a woman the couple had a threesome with. Bridget confirmed to police that the threesome took place but maintained it was consensual.

But in the early 2010s, before she became an anti-LGBTQ+ fanatic, she was working in fashion and hanging out with the gays. “When I met her, she was a girl that partied in Miami and worked at Gucci,” another former friend, Gabriele Harris, said. “It wasn’t like, ‘Let’s go burn books and be mean to gay people.’ We had friends in our friend group that were gay. One of her best friends for a very long time was gay.”

“The Bridget I knew was warm and charming; quirky and kind—and never, ever expressed or exuded a modicum of homophobia,” author and life coach Zara Barrie recalled.

“She was well aware that I was an out lesbian and never appeared uncomfortable around my girlfriend and me, who were attached at the hip in those days. In fact, Bridget appeared to boast a slew of lively, close gay friends. After all, she had worked in fashion. In Miami.”

More than anything, her old friends sounded just… sad—sad to see who their one-time ally had become. “Bridget’s the one that kind of breaks my heart, you know?” Patel said. “Because she was and is, I think, a really good person. She’s always been supportive. She’s an ally.”

“I don’t want to say they don’t truly believe in some of that stuff,” Harris said. “But I just don’t know how Bridget can go from having two of your best guy friends being gay and now you’re literally helping write the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law in schools. I just don’t know that she really drinks that Kool-Aid.”

Regardless of whether Bridget truly believes what she says, her rhetoric as Sarasota school board chair will have an indelible impact on the kids in her charge. For Barrie, that fact has left her “heartbroken and fearful over the impact Bridget has had on the amazing young people in Sarasota, who deserve so badly to live and thrive and be celebrated in one the most formative seasons of life.”

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