Not so surprisingly, gay journalist Chadwick Moore for a very long time was a liberal.
What is rather surprising are the circumstances in the life of the 33-year-old from the mega-hip Brooklyn, New York, enclave of Williamsburg that found him finally at odds with fellow liberals and moving toward unfamiliar political territory: conservatism.
Moore sat down with Michael Kaplan of the New York Post and explained it all.
Things began changing after Moore wrote what he deemed a "neutral" profile for Out magazine a few months ago on Milo Yiannopoulos, who's also gay but is anything but liberal.
"After the story posted online in the early hours of Sept. 21, I woke up to more than 100 Twitter notifications on my iPhone," Moore told the Post. "Trolls were calling me a Nazi, death threats rolled in and a joke photo that I posed for in a burka served as 'proof' that I am an Islamophobe."
Soon Moore — who said he's no Islamophobe — found himself in the cross-hairs of people he actually knows.
"Personal friends of mine — men in their '60s who had been my longtime mentors — were coming at me," he told the Post. "They wrote on Facebook that the story was 'irresponsible' and 'dangerous.' A dozen or so people unfriended me. A petition was circulated online, condemning the magazine and my article. All I had done was write a balanced story on an outspoken Trump supporter for a liberal, gay magazine, and now I was being attacked. I felt alienated and frightened."
And he told the paper things just got worse:
I laid low for a week or so. Finally, I decided to go out to my local gay bar in Williamsburg, where I’ve been a regular for 11 years. I ordered a drink but nothing felt the same; half the place — people with whom I’d shared many laughs — seemed to be giving me the cold shoulder. Upon seeing me, a friend who normally greets me with a hug and kiss pivoted and turned away.
Frostiness spread far beyond the bar, too. My best friend, with whom I typically hung out multiple times per week, was suddenly perpetually unavailable. Finally, on Christmas Eve, he sent me a long text, calling me a monster, asking where my heart and soul went, and saying that all our other friends are laughing at me.
I realized that, for the first time in my adult life, I was outside of the liberal bubble and looking in. What I saw was ugly, lock step, incurious and mean-spirited.
After a political discussion with a random liberal a few nights later ended with the stranger calling him "a Nazi and walking away," Moore had an epiphany.
He told the Post he "began to realize that maybe my opinions just didn’t fit in with the liberal status quo, which seems to mean that you must absolutely hate Trump, his supporters and everything they believe. If you dare not to protest or boycott Trump, you are a traitor."
On the contrary, Moore added to the paper, daring "to question liberal stances or make an effort toward understanding why conservatives think the way they do" gets you labeled "a traitor."
"It can seem like liberals are actually against free speech if it fails to conform with the way they think," he told the Post. "And I don’t want to be a part of that club anymore."
Moore told the paper he started discovering some things:
It used to be that if you were a gay, educated atheist living in New York, you had no choice but to be liberal. But as I met more Trump supporters with whom I was able to have engaging, civil discussions about issues that impact us all, I realized that I like these people — even if I have some issues with Trump himself. For example, I don’t like his travel ban or the cabinet choices he’s made.
But I finally had to admit to myself that I am closer to the right than where the left is today. And, yes, just three months ago, I voted for Hillary Clinton.
When I was growing up in the Midwest, coming out to my family at the age of 15 was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Today, it’s just as nerve-wracking coming out to all of New York as a conservative. But, like when I was 15, it’s also weirdly exciting.
Moore told the Post that his newfound conservatism has brought him closer to his father — "a Republican and a farmer in Iowa." He noted that following Trump’s inauguration, he and his dad "chatted for two hours, bonding over the ridiculousness of lefties. But we also got serious: He told me that he is proud of my writing, and I opened up about my personal life in a way I never had before to him."
You can read the Post's entire profile on Moore here.