Kristen Stewart Has Exposed The Ideological Schism That Could Tear Donald Trump’s Camp Apart

‘The president is not a huge fan of me but that is SO OK’

Kristen Stewart's  'So Gay,' But She's Ensured That Trump's The Real Loser

by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

If there’s a culture war in the Western World, this weekend saw battle. Saturday Night Live (SNL) held a mirror up to Sean Spicer, Donald Trump’s short and angry press officer, with a note-perfect imitation from Melissa McCarthy. And Alec Baldwin brought out his bratty Trump as goaded into evil by chief strategist Stephen Bannon. Bannon’s a man whose soul is visible on the very pockmarks of his booze-bruised face, so SNL depicted him as a cross between Skeletor and the Grim Reaper. Over at the Super Bowl’s half time show, Lady Gaga, hands tied by the NFL (remember MIA’s errant middle finger earning her a years-long lawsuit?), sang her heart out for unity and patriotism, any nods to her previous adoration of Hillary Clinton a dogwhistle to the left-wing. She trod a fine line well: fans will know what she truly stands for, but Texan football nuts will simply have enjoyed a glitzy show.

And smack bang in the middle of it, Kristen Stewart came out as ‘gay’. Sort of. As SNL’s guest star she detailed Donald Trump’s previous tweeted obsession with her and then-boyfriend Robert Pattinson: ‘We broke up and then we got back together and for some reason it made Donald Trump go insane’. She read out some of the 11 four-year-old tweets in a slightly breathless Valley girl husk. Just like Spicer’s humiliation, in part, comes from a woman impersonating him, Trump might feel shamed by the visible double standard of his rhetoric when hearing how silly it all sounds when a young woman - instead of an angry old white dude - says what he’s tweeted.

Kristen said it’s fine that he hates her: ‘The president is not a huge fan of me but that is SO OK’, and addressed him to explain that SNL would only make him hate her more.

And then, the clincher: ‘I’m also, like, SO gay’, her hand cupping her mouth to emphasise the stage-whisper. We already know this - Kristen’s spent years publicly attached to women, and told Elle last summer: ‘I'm just really in love with my girlfriend.’ But what really spikes this speech through with zest is she’s never previously put a label on her sexuality. It might suck that a woman feels the term ‘gay’ can apply to her but a gay man would never refer to himself as a ‘lesbian’, but by repurposing a common playground slur into a statement of intent, Kristen showed she gives no craps what critics think of her sexuality, especially not Donald J Trump.

We know what Trump thinks of Kristen, but what about the rest of the LGBT population? Caitlyn Jenner is perhaps his most famous celebrity endorser, and following the Orlando shooting where 49 LGBT people were killed, Trump was the first Republican candidate for the presidency to ever mention LGBT rights in a speech. Bannon is a libertarian, who is very pro letting people do what they want with their lives with minimal state intervention. And Breitbart, the far-right website he used to edit, employs Milo Yiannopoulos, the erudite and suave gay troll. It all sounds pro-gay, and you can bet a lot of Republicans would’ve danced their asses off to Gaga playing Born This Way at the Super Bowl. But then, something grimmer: Trump only ever mentioned Orlando to argue that Muslims are a threat to LGBT people as a means to prop up his promise of a Muslim ban. Bannon wants to scrap the entire state, including the so-called political correctness of anti-discrimination and hate crime laws. Yiannpoulos was kicked off of Twitter for co-ordinating attacks against Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones, mocking up tweets to suggest that she was homophobic. He commonly blames attacks on him on homophobia, instead of considering that he’s the bad guy, getting #FeminismIsCancer trending online and outing trans students on university campuses.

But while all the above will use LGBT people to serve their agenda when it suits - how bad can they be, if they’re ok with gays? - Vice President Mike Pence, acting on behalf of the establishment GOP, has links to groups that push gay conversion therapy. The Trump administration is torn on LGBT rights and this is where culture can drive a wedge between them.

Some may gripe that multicultural liberalism - a celebration of differences - provoked Trumpism, but perhaps the key to toppling Trumpism is in highlighting the differences the new government isn’t proud of. Perhaps religious Mike Pence will be embarrassed about Trump not coming down hard enough on LGBT people. Maybe Yiannopoulos, via Bannon, will object to any rush to stamp on LGBT rights out of defence of the gay Republicans who so keenly call Trump ‘daddy’.

If culture can go some way to reminding the Trump administration of its ideological differences, to get them squabbling within their ranks, then here’s to another four years - or however long it takes - of chipping away at the inconsistencies in Trump’s camp. If they’re this mean to the rest of the world, how bad is it going to be when they turn on each other?

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Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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