oh brother

Rep. Matt Gaetz insists he’s “not gay” after revealing his 19-year-old “son” who he “loves very much”

When it comes to digging himself into a deeper hole, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida has proven himself exceptional. In fact, it might be the thing he does best. Second only, perhaps, to racking up drunk driving arrests.

On Wednesday, he got into a shrill screaming match with Democratic Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana during a House Judiciary Committee meeting.

Gaetz, who is white, shouted at Richmond, who is Black, as Richmond was speaking about the lack of attention Republicans, in general, give to non-white citizens, particularly Black men.

“Who in the hell do you think you are?” Gaetz shrieked over Richmond while waving his hands angrily in the air.

After people took issue with his behavior for a number of reasons, the main one being that he tried to silence a Black man for talking about racism, the 38-year-old bachelor took to Twitter to claim he has a 19-year-old “son” named Nestor, who happens to be Cuban, which somehow proves he’s not racist. Or something.

Just for the record: Gaetz, who holds a 0% rating with the Human Rights Campaign and who opposed the LGBT Equality Act, has never been the legal guardian of Nestor. Nor has he ever commonly referred to him as his “son.” In the past, he’s called Nestor a “helper,” a “House page,” and a “local student.”

After that, Gaetz paraded Nestor on Tucker Carlson‘s Fox News show, where he said, “Nestor is the light of my life. I couldn’t imagine loving him any more if he was my own flesh and blood. I have raised him for the last six years, and he is just the most remarkable young man.”

Later in the interview, Gaetz really laid on thick when he said:

For the sake of Nestor and my story, we’re a proud, happy family and we love each other very much, and Nestor’s on his way off to college in the fall, and I just couldn’t be happier and prouder of the young man he’s become, and the fact that he’s embracing these American values, that everyone should be treated fairly and equally.

OK, just to be clear, parading around a person of color as a token on national television in an effort to “prove” that you’re not racist after behaving in a racist manner is the definition of racism.

Gaetz’s sudden obsession with this teenage Cuban boy who he calls his “son” and claims to “love very much” led to rumors that he’s gay, prompting some people to wish him a “Happy Pride!” on Twitter.

This morning, Gaetz responded by denying the reports about his sexuality. Then he called people “mean.”

“I’ve honestly never understood this gay shaming smear,” he says. “Are you saying being gay is something to be ashamed of? I’m not gay, but I don’t think it would be if I were. How do gay people feel when a straight person is accused of being gay as some sort of dig? The New Woke is mean.”

Gaetz is right about one thing. Being gay is nothing to be ashamed of. Too bad his voting record and party affiliation suggest otherwise.

Related: Rep. Matt Gaetz ripped on live TV for mocking coronavirus with gas mask