The 10 Best Homophobic Backfires of 2019—Ranked!

Sometimes it's hard to be a homophobe.

Being anti-LGBTQ used to be so easy, but even Trump had troubles discriminating this year.

This year-end, we’re raising some egg nog to our favorite flubs, ranked from hilariously satisfying to most hilariously satisfying.

  1. Daddy Fearest: GOP Lawmaker Takes Back Homophobic Bill After Gay Kid Shames Him

    seksan Mongkhonkhamsao

    Kansas GOP Rep. Ron Highland was going to sponsor a bill proclaiming same-sex marriages parody marriages. He put his name on the “Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act.”

    Just one problem: His daughter, Christel Highland is part of the LGBTQ community and took him to task publicly when he refused to engage with her on the offensive bill. She wrote him an open letter on Facebook.

    Rep. Highland admitted he made a mistake and removed his name.

  2. Cluck Off: Chick-fil-A Shuttered Because Homophobia Doesn’t Sell

    Andrew Renneisen / Stringer

    Sometimes justice is so salty. The U.K. got its first Chick-fil-A this year, but the notoriously homophobic chicken chain lasted a week due to an LGBTQ boycott before shuttering.

  3. Don’t Police Me: Cop Wins $20 Million After Being Told to Reign in Gayness

    Getty Images

    St. Louis Police Sgt. Keith Wildhaber was denied a promotion 23 times, he says. After two decades on the job, and being told to “tone down his gayness,” he had enough. He won $20 million. St. Louis has also vowed to change its ways.

  4. Tee-gall: Trump Tries Peddling Pride T-shirts

    In perhaps his least sensible business venture yet, Donald Trump offered up LGBTQ Americans the rare gift of a laugh this pride season by selling rainbow pride shirts. Of course, the shirts were grammatically incorrect and appeared to be designed in “Microsoft Paint.”

  5. Crackup Barrel: Cracker Barrel Bans Anti-gay Pastor


    If Cracker Barrel bans you for being anti-gay, you’re in real trouble. The food chain—which instituted a policy of firing LGBTQ people 1991 (it lasted one month), didn’t add queer people to its non-discrimination policy until 2002, and has historically been accused of racism—told an anti-gay pastor his views were too extreme.

    Grayson Fritts of the All Scripture Baptist Church was barred from holding an event at a Tennessee chain because he made death threats against gay people.

  6. Double Trouble: After Pride Shirt Debacle We Get MAGA Rainbow Shirts

    Because we assume the first Trump Pride shirt was such a big hit, Trump rolled out a MAGA rainbow shirt that was more cringeworthy than his last.

  7. Flying Pride: Trump Bans Pride Flags at Embassies, so Naturally…

    picture alliance / Contributor

    President Donald J. Trump declared that no embassy shall bear the rainbow colors on the unholiest of month of June when LGBTQ people celebrate Pride!

    And the embassies were like:

    Pride flag U.S. embassy in Berlin
    Stephanie Pilick/picture alliance via Getty Images
    Getty Images

  8. Conscience Defections: Judges Dump Trump’s Anti-tran’s Health Care Law

    ALASTAIR GRANT / Contributor

    Trump tried so hard to roll back LGBTQ healthcare protections in 2019. In May, the Department of Health and Human Service proposed redefining the Affordable Care Act to gut anti-discrimination protections for trans people.

    The Department was also poised to roll out “conscience protections” that would have let doctors turn away trans people and those with HIV/AIDS. Two judges looked at the new rule and kicked it to the curb. The Trump administration is expected to appeal the rulings.

  9. The Wolf Who Cried Ally: Homophobic Judges Sobs About Being Called Homophobe  

    Lawrence VanDyke gave LGBTQ people a rare gift this fall when he blubbered at his own confirmation hearing to be a federal appeals court judge. The reason? The American Bar Association found him unqualified because he refused to say he would treat LGBTQ people fairly as a judge.

    The ABA conducted 60 interviews and found him to be “lazy, arrogant, and an ideologue.”

  10. Hair Comes Pride: The Texas Commissioner Who Refused to Sign a Pride Proclamation but Really Became Famous Because of Her Hairdo

    county commissioner carolyn vaughn

    Look, we’re not here to hair-shame. This is about queer rights!

    Sorry, did you want to read the actual story? Fine.

Kate Sosin is an award-winning, trans-identified news and investigative reporter.