Content warning: This post contains numerous transphobic statements and anti-LGBTQ slurs.
Senate hopeful Chelsea Manning has stoked controversy after appearing at an alt-right party celebrating the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s election.
The famed whistleblower attended Saturday’s “A Night for Freedom,” a conservative gala attended by prominent white nationalists and transphobes. The festivities included Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes and Gateway Pundit correspondent Lucian Wintrich, who also is the creator of Twinks4Trump.
Manning claimed in a Twitter post that she had “crashed the fascist/white supremacist hate brigade party.”
But others took issue with that characterization.
The 28-year-old, who was pardoned last year after leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, was spotted “smiling and socializing with attendees,” according to a BuzzFeed report. Jack Posobiec, the far-right conspiracy theorist behind the “Free Melania” sign, claimed the white wristband Manning wore was proof she bought a ticket to the event.
In response to speculation about her motives, a spokesperson for Manning said she “didn’t pay to get in.” “Chelsea did not have a ticket,” the rep claimed. “She was given a wristband.”
Although sources claimed that her appearance “was an effort to bridge gaps between left and right,” Huffington Post reporter Yashar Ali pointed out that this wasn’t the first time Manning was spotted in Wintrich’s company. The two went to an “Escape The Room” event together last year in Washington, D.C.
Wintrich, a self-stylized provocateur and disciple of Milo Yiannopoulos, called former Obama aide Raffi Freedman-Gurspan an “unattractive tranny” at a gay conservative panel at the Metropolitan Republican Club held in April.
“Begrudgingly, I’ll say ‘she,’” the 29-year-old said in reference to Freedman-Gurspan.
McInnes, meanwhile, gained infamy in 2014 after writing an op-ed for the millennial-focused website Thought Catalog entitled, “Transphobia Is Perfectly Natural.” He claimed that transgender people are merely “mentally ill gays” who “die of drug overdoses and suicide way before they’re 40,” sentiments which led several contributors to leave the site in protest.
The two men combined forces in November for Get Off My Lawn, a CRTV chat show hosted by McInnes. In their conversation, Wintrich criticized Danica Roem’s historic win in Virginia, which made her the first openly transgender politician to serve in a state legislature.
The gay conservative claimed Democrats were “playing the intersectionality game to elect people” and predicted it would result in “terrible people ruining the country.”
“I’m excited to see how badly this tranny actually fucks up Virginia,” he said.