Home' South Florida Gay News : SFGN 061715 Contents 18 // 6.17.2015 // SFGN.com // soflagaynews // SouthFloridaGayNews
Local Commissioner Mocks Caitly
Jenner; Facebook Post Goes Nation
People take sides in Castillo remarks
When Pembroke Pines City Commissioner
Angelo Castillo posted on Facebook that he
had made the decision to remain a man he
probably didn't realize his self-described
satirical message mocking Caitlyn Jenner's
recent coming out would end up going viral.
The story was covered by local news outlets,
New Times, Sun Sentinel, WPLG Local 10
news, and even made the national news with
the Advocate writing about it.
In case you missed it here's the post that
started the controversy:
"I have an announcement to make.
After considerable thought, I've decided
to remain a guy. Now, I know this deﬁes
all conventional wisdom, trends and
styles. Yet I've considered my decisions
carefully and just feel it will be better
for all concerned. In the days ahead, I
ask for your help and support. Staying
a guy is not an easy choice to make
but in reaching this difﬁcult decision I
hope you will all understand that I really
think this is the best choice I can make
for me. (satire added, no extra charge)
Castillo routinely ends his posts with
Besides being a city commissioner he's an
employee of the Broward Sheriff's Office. He
also once ran Broward House as its executive
There were those who came to his defense.
One such person was local trans activist Nikki
Adams, who happened to work under Castillo
at the Broward House.
"I read the post...and chuckled
because I know you and your sense of
humor. I also thought at the same time
that you could get some heat for it.
Apparently you have. My opinion is that
society has become way too socially
correct. Everyone has been forced to
walk on eggshells and tip toe around
controversial issues. It's become
absurd! The ones who are attacking you
have no idea who you are as a person. I
do and I know how you treated me and
everyone that walked through B H as
workers or clients," Adams wrote. "You
have never been disrespectful and never
made anyone feel inferior to you. Do I
think you should apologize? No. It was
a joke, nothing more. They are however
forcing your hand to make a statement.
If and when you do please feel free to let
them know that your friend Nikki Adams
stands ﬁrmly by your side! And, by the
way, I think you're very courageous for
remaining a man!"
Castillo later said of his posts "No subject or
viewpoint is off limits and I encourage candor
above all else. All points of view are welcomed."
Except the ones he doesn't like apparently.
The discussion that this post generated
must have touched a nerve because at one
point he told people to go "fuck themselves" if
they didn't like it.
"I have a right to say what I wish in the
manner that I choose for the purposes
I select and in the way I think is right.
Anybody that doesn't like me doing that
they can go fuck themselves. Is that
In yet another seemingly contradictory
statement he said after the story went viral
"Candor isn't for everybody especially not
for the political correct crowd or the weak of
Castillo's boss at the BSO didn't seem
amused by the post.
"I just don't joke about religion or things
that could be personally sensitive to people,''
Sheriff Scott Israel told the Sun Sentinel. "I
don't find it funny. It's just not something I do.
I don't condone it.''
This wasn't the first post of Castillo's that
related to Jenner either.
"Well, I'll say this. She's better looking than
Rudy Giuliani," he wrote. No "discuss" tag was
added to that post.
In several comments Castillo was adamant
that his coming out as a man post wasn't a joke.
"I should add, my intent was satire. Not a
joke," he wrote.
But this later exchange was presumably a
joke when Ron Gunzburger, another employee
of the Broward Sheriff's Office, said "I was
fine with you, Angelo, when you were going
through your woman phase. Whatever makes
Castillo responded: "You promised never to
Nikki Adams added:
"Really people? Have we all lost
every bit of sensibility that you can't
get it was sarcasm to bring to light the
people that actually do have a problem
with Caitlyn's decision? I'm part of the
trans community and I got the joke
immediately as sarcasm at its ﬁnest,”
she wrote. "To all of you that aren't
trans, don't tell me what I should and
should not be offended by and don't put
yourself on a pedestal, spewing hatred
at someone you don't know. I have
worked with Angelo in the past and I
can tell you ALL that he is a profound
supporter of LGBTQ rights. I would
venture to say he has done more than
our so called activists have by putting
his name and reputation on the line in
many a political battle. To sum up my
feelings on this matter, LIGHTEN UP
One local conservative website came to
the defense of Castillo, who happens to be a
Democrat. BizPacReview.com ran this headline
"Bold Fla. politician demonstrates EXACTLY
how to stand up to PC police." One commenter
added "Thank you Mr. Castillo. You have given
me the courage to finally step up and say 'I am
a white, heterosexual male, with not one ounce
of white guilt, and I intend to stay that way!'"
In a letter to the editor to SFGN Castillo
defended himself, and his posts, saying he
was doing nothing more than using satire to
bring attention to Caitlyn Jenner's "courageous
"My goal was to illustrate through satire...
that we all have a right to choose what we
consider best for ourselves so long as those
choices don't infringe on the rights of others,"
he said. "The goal was to generate light, not
heat, understanding for Jenner's actions and
certainly never to generate offense."
He stopped just short of an apology though.
"So, of course I regret if anybody was
unintentionally offended," he said. (Castillo's
entire letter can be found on page 24).
At one point one of Castillo's Facebook
friends attacked Jenner's transition.
“I ﬁnd it a serious act of cowardice
to marry your THIRD wife and have
children with her if you had these
feelings and were already involved in
some manner of "transitioning' at that
time and...if you still have a penis, you
are still a man...END OF DISCUSSION.
Angelo...I support your manhood
Castillo's response: "Many may find
your comment very harsh. But I do think it
legitimately opens an avenue of discussion
that is valid. If you're a confused person on
the question of identity, under what limits of
motivation is it moral to enter into a marriage?
That is a legitimate ethical and moral
Castillo didn't address the second part of his
friend's post erasing Caitlyn's transition to a
The Dolphin Democrats, Broward's LGBT
Democratic Club, blasted Castillo.
"This is not satire, but instead
offensively disparages transgender
people. The Dolphin Democrats feel
this is entirely inappropriate for any
elected ofﬁcial who is also a Democrat,
especially as it occurred during Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)
Pride month, celebrated in June," the
statement read. "Castillo brushes off
criticism of his satire by telling people
‘if you ﬁnd it inappropriate, if it offends
you, defriend me' which demonstrates
his unwillingness to act responsibly
as an elected ofﬁcial and propose
solutions in the form of good public
policy initiatives. Being transgender is
not a proper subject for satire because
of the hatred and intolerance faced by
transgender people every day."
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