When a politician promotes anti-LGBTQ+ policies, it's common to hear a chorus of unoriginal, offensive jokes that he or she surely must be closeted. They send the problematic message that bigotry is simply the result of self-loathing, and that LGBTQ+ people project their insecurities onto others.
So, needless to say, it was more than a little disappointing to learn that MSNBC host Joy Reid made a number of homophobic comments about Florida Representative Charlie Crist, as reported by Mediaite.
The statements, which were posted between 2007 and 2009 on Reid's now-deactivated blog titled The Reid Report, were unearthed through an archiving service and shared by Twitter user Jamie_Maz.
As screenshots show, Reid mockingly called Crist "Miss Charlie" 17 times and she posted a bizarre theory that he married a woman solely to better his chances of being selected as John McCain's 2008 running mate, according to The Cut.
One post also detailed Reid's baseless speculation that Crist was miserable on his honeymoon and fantasized about having sexual escapades with "male waiters" the whole time.
As New York Magazine reported in 2012, there was speculation by multiple people that Crist was closeted — but Reid's "jokes" are especially offensive. (Not to mention it's fairly creepy that she devoted her time and energy to writing about what she thinks occurred on someone's honeymoon.)
In a lengthy statement issued to The Wrap, Reid apologized and stated that "re-reading those old blog posts, I am disappointed in myself. I apologize to those who also are disappointed in me."
However, her statement was also decidedly on the defensive side. Reid made sure to note that, due to Crist's stance on gay marriage, "LGBTQ bloggers, writers and journalists, conservative blogs, a controversial documentary film called Outrage, and even...the comedic writers at South Park" had speculated about his sexuality and her "goal...was to call out potential hypocrisy."
In the statement, which can be viewed in full here, Reid apologizes to Crist and members of the LGBTQ+ community who were hurt by her statements and writes that she has since learned "how to better frame [her] critiques" of politicians who oppose LGBTQ+ rights.
In the years since Reid's blog posts, Crist has switched his affiliation to the Democratic party and is currently a Congressman, as reported by The New York Times. In 2010, while he was still governor of Florida, Crist stated that he'd had an "appropriate evolution" on gay rights and began to shift his stances, according to The Sun Sentinel. In 2014, he publicly apologized for his role in banning same-sex marriage in Florida, as reported by MSNBC. "I’m sorry I did that," Crist stated. "It was a mistake. I was wrong. Please forgive me."
Crist is now a member of Congress championing causes that he once opposed, so it's clear that he's learned some important lessons over the past decade. Let's hope that Reid's apology is genuine and that she, too, has actually learned it's bigoted, tasteless, and disrespectful to claim that anti-LGBTQ+ politicians are really just closeted people who are using their own self-hatred to hurt others.
Refinery29 has reached out to Reid and Crist for comment.