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Whatever happened to Fraternité?

As France’s presidential election beckons, Marine Le Pen’s xenophobic far-right Front National is attracting the support of an increasing number of gay men. In a country founded on liberté and égalité, have gay men lost their fraternité?

Seductive, young, and urban – Bruno Clavet cuts an unlikely figure as a candidate for the Front National (FN), France’s far-right political party. As an attractive former underwear model and onetime X Factor contestant, it was an unusual twist when he stood for the FN in Paris’s IIIe arrondissement in 2014. He lost, receiving just 580 votes, but the appearance of a shiny, presentable, gay face on election posters for the FN in the heart of liberal Paris was a wake-up call.

Somehow, gay men had found a home in the far right and an icon in Marine Le Pen, the FN’s leader and presidential candidate. Polls in recent years have shown a dramatic increase in FN support amongst gays since the last presidential election in 2012. A Cevipof poll after local elections in 2015 found that 32.45 per cent of gay married couples had backed the FN – while only 28 per cent of the general population did, while an Ifop poll showed gays backed Le Pen more than 10 per cent more than straight people.

But why? In a country that finds itself at the epicentre of a new wave of terrorism in the West, the perceived threat of radical Islam runs high, and it’s a fear that Marine Le Pen has been particularly adept at exploiting. At every turn, her message is clear: Muslim immigrants are flooding in, taking the values of the liberal, secular France you love and perverting them.

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About Winq

The latest issue of the newly relaunched Winq features an exclusive interview with AFC Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe, the first Premier League manager to go on the record and say he’d be happy to have a gay footballer in his team. Elsewhere, there are interviews with French film director François Ozon, award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, Olympic dressage rider Spencer Wilton, and Gigi Chao, the Hong Kong lesbian whose father offered millions to any man who could turn her straight. We travel to Japan and Mexico, report on what life is like for LGBT+ people in Ghana, and explore the reasons behind the rising popularity of the far right amongst gay men in France. Packed with insightful commentary from a newly expanded panel of columnists, Winq is the journal for gay gentlemen by Attitude.
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