A Republican candidate for the North Carolina Senate – who is campaigning on a platform in support of his state’s ban on same-sex marriage – has been outed as a former female impersonator and drag show emcee by the co-owner of the club where he once worked some 10 years ago.
Former club owner Randy Duggins told the Winston-Salem Journal that Steve Wile, 34, who is now a real estate agent in Belews Creek, NC, worked at Club Odyssey until 2010 under the name ‘Mona Sinclair.’ Wiles was also a show director and performance booker.
In 2012, Wiles advocated for passage of North Carolina’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as a between a man and a woman. According to a report published by the Winston-Salem Journal on Saturday, he still supports the ban.
‘Why would you want to get into that knowing your past?’ asked Duggins. ‘He’s a hypocrite.’
According to the Journal, Wiles’ responses ranged from categorical denial to tacit admission in three separate interviews in as many weeks.
‘That’s not me,’ Wiles first said three weeks ago, referring to his drag queen persona.
When asked whether he was gay, he said ‘no’.
Wiles told the Journal this week, ‘I have already apologized to the people who matter most to me for the things I did when I was young,’ while declining to clarify for what he has apologized.
The report further revealed that an online search for ‘Steven Wiles’ and ‘Belews Creek’ turns up a link to the Miss Gay America website. Although the webpage with Wiles’ name has been taken offline, a cached version lists a Steven Wiles as Mona Sinclair and that he was a promoter of Miss Gay Eastern States America and a promoter for Miss Gay North Carolina America.
The webpage also says that Wiles was suspended for ‘conduct unbecoming to a promoter of the Miss Gay America pageant system,’ according to the webpage, without providing more information.
Following the publication of the story in the Journal, Wiles posted a message on Facebook which has since been removed, ‘I’m sure many of you saw my glowing recommendation in the Winston Salem Journal – I’d like to apologize to everyone because, unlike the currently appointed NC Senator in District 31, I made mistakes. My job was embarrassing – I had to have a job! Nobody died, leaving me a millionaire capable of living in North Carolina’s most expensive neighborhood. One thing I will say, I learned from my mistakes – the Republican party, under the leadership of Scott Cumbie who threatened me with my past if I ran against an incumbent Republican, seem intent to fight within the party and join in the fight with every bigot and racist they can find. I understand the gay community does not share my support for the Marriage Amendment – I RESPECT THAT and am very happy to discuss my views with any of my friends in the Democrat party and gay community. Meanwhile, I regret the fact that something so trivial would cloud an otherwise decent campaign….What more could be expected though? When policy fails, attacks begin.’