Home' South Florida Gay News : SFGN 011018 Contents 2 • 1.10.2018
Anti-trAntAlis Ads result in
AccusAtions of HomopHobiA
Atthe Jan. 4 mayoral forum, Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts rejected
the idea that a series of anti-Dean Trantalis mailers were
The mailers depict Trantalis, who is openly gay and the current
Dist. 2 commissioner, as a puppet and in flamboyant makeup and
clothing. They were created by the Florida Community Alliance PC,
a Political Action Committee with a Tallahassee mailing address.
Roberts did not deny he was associated with the PAC and defended
the mailers. He said they were not meant to be homophobic.
“Other people may interpret it that way . . . If you look at my
record [which includes a vote in 2014 to support gay marriage in a
city resolution and protections for LGBT individuals in the city’s
procurement process] you will see that I am completely the opposite
[of homophobic],” said Roberts at the forum.
Sun Sentinel reporter Brittany Wallman said she was told by “quite
a few voters” that they viewed it as homophobic.
Interviews with some LGBT activists and Fort Lauderdale residents
found mixed opinions on whether or not the ads were homophobic.
Activist Michael Rajner said he does not view the mailers as
“But given the issue of homophobia is now being raised, I challenge
Commissioners Bruce Roberts and Dean Trantalis to team up at
the Jan. 23rd commission meeting and finally request for the city
commission to codify in city ordinance, the mayor and commission’s
commitment to non-discrimination that explicitly list sexual
orientation and gender identity as protected classifications. Back
in October, the commission amended their procurement process to
mandate vendors doing business with the city to demonstrate such,
but the city itself only has a manager’s policy on non-discrimination
and hasn’t gone the full mile to enact the protections citywide by a
vote of the mayor and commission like many other cities around the
nation,” wrote Rajner. He called upon the city commission to push
for “non-discrimination in everything it does.”
Ed Leuchs, a Fort Lauderdale resident and director with the
Dolphin Democrats, said it’s hard to believe anyone who puts out
these mailers professionally would not know how depicting a gay
man in makeup would be perceived.
“If you’re running against a black candidate, you don’t do certain
stereotypes. He could have just been a puppet like Pinocchio, I
suppose. But the makeup was the over the top part. It’s a stereotype
associated with gay men. Most of us don’t wear makeup,” Leuchs
Fort Lauderdale resident Bill Henning wrote that he was shocked
to see the mailers. “When I saw the anti-Trantalis mailer sent out by
the PAC backing Bruce Roberts, frankly, I was shocked to see such
blatantly homophobic imagery poisoning an election campaign here
in a city that boasts such a large and vocal LGBT community, a city
that is frequently praised for its LGBT-friendliness. I was appalled.
This kind of crap would never fly back in New York City. I hope it’s
not acceptable in Fort Lauderdale either.”
Roberts, Trantalis, and former city commissioner Charlotte
Rodstrom will face off in the mayoral primary on Tuesday, Jan. 16. If
no candidate gets 50 percent plus one of the vote, a runoff between
the top two vote getters will be held Tuesday, March 13.
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Copyright © 2018 South Florida Gay News.com, Inc.
January 10, 2018 • Volume 9 • Issue 2
2520 N. Dixie Highway • Wilton Manors, FL 33305
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Cover1: Dean Trantalis (right) and Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts. Cover 2: Conversion therapy bans sweep Florida.
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