U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson Won’t Apologize for Homophobic Remarks

He once called gay men "tank-topped bumboys."

Boris Johnson, the newly elected prime minister of the United Kingdom, refuses to apologize for a past littered with anti-LGBTQ remarks.

Johnson, who heads the U.K.’s Conservative Party, recently won the country’s race to become the next prime minister, replacing current Prime Minister Theresa May, who’s led the nation since 2016. But his homophobic past has come back to haunt him. As Business Insider reports, his campaign was dogged time and time again by Johnson’s racist, homophobic, and sexist comments about people of color, gays and lesbians, and women.

Those remarks include rating the “hotness” of women attending a Labour Party conference in 1996; fanning the flames of Islamophobia as a “natural” reaction to the Quran, the Muslim community’s holy text; and referring to gay men as “tank-topped bumboys.” In his 2001 book Friends, Voters, and Countrymen, the politician even likened marriage equality to bestiality.

Last month, Johnson attempted to save face by claiming his offensive comments were “wholly satirical.” But queer advocates across the pond aren’t so quick to believe him.

British LGBTQ activist Peter Tatchell told PinkNews that Johnson’s “mixed record” voting on queer issues doesn’t bode well for his leadership.

Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images

“He’s sometimes been supportive and other times he’s abstained,” Tatchell added. “His past insulting utterances count against him…There is no indication that he has any commitment to remedying the remaining injustices faced by LGBT+ people.”

If Johnson’s documented history of crude, highly offensive comments about marginalized groups sounds all too familiar to Americans, you’re not alone. The new PM is already being likened to President Donald Trump and his largely anti-LGBTQ administration, with outlets like The Guardian, NPR, and Refinery29 comparing and contrasting the two conservative leaders.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.