In case you missed it, on Friday video surfaced of a man heckling Bristol Palin while she was riding a mechanical bull at a West Hollywood bar. 47-year-old Stephen Hanks asked her, "Is that how you rode Levi?" then yelled, "Your mother's a whore." She responded by asking him if he hates her mom, "because you're homosexual." You can't root for either side in this fight, but now Bristol's rep says that making an assumption about the Hanks' sexual orientation (which happened to be correct) doesn't mean she's homophobic.
The rep told TMZ that Bristol,
"was approached in a confrontational and inappropriate manner when two men aggressively shouted expletives aimed at her in reference to her mother. Bristol responded to the unprovoked verbal assault by calmly standing her ground and defending her family ... The situation ended with no incident, and accusing her of homophobia is completely unfounded and totally misstates her views."
That doesn't really explain why it's "unfounded" to call her a homophobe. Does Bristol possess some magical ability to discern people's sexual orientation from looking at them? Did she guess Hanks is gay because she doesn't know that lots of straight people hate her mom too?
Even if we give Bristol the benefit of the doubt and assume that while she was flailing about on the bull she spotted Hanks passionately making out with his boyfriend, what exactly are her "views" on homosexuality? As the Advocate notes, Bristol was accused of being homophobic during her time on Dancing With The Stars when she wrote in a Facebook exchange with fellow contestant Margaret Cho,
"You say you 'don't agree with the family's politics at all' but I say, if you understood that commonsense conservative values supports the right of individuals like you, like all of us, to live our lives with less government interference and more independence, you would embrace us faster than KD Lang at an Indigo Girls concert."
Then in November she fauxpologized, "Willow and I shouldn't have reacted to negative comments about our family," when her little sister was caught using gay slurs on Facebook. So far the most credible evidence that Bristol isn't homophobic comes from an anonymous National Enquirer tipster who concocted a mommy-daughter catfight story about Sarah Palin feuding with her daughter over her newfound support for marriage equality.
Perhaps we shouldn't be worrying ourselves with what the daughter of a failed vice presidential nominee really feels in her heart toward gay people. Particularly because according to one popular theory, the whole incident was staged. Though Hanks declared in a follow-up interview with TMZ that he wasn't an actor or a plant, even more unnamed sources say her reality show co-star Kyle Massey thinks producers engineered the exchange, which is why the camera just happened to be so close to Hanks. Either way, the incident is unfortunate because it plays into the Palin's victim narrative and distracts from the fact that there are homophobes who are actually running for the presidency. There are plenty of reasons to despise those politicians, a none of them have anything to do with them being "whores."
Bristol Palin Bar Fight: ‘You're a Homosexual, I Can Tell You Are' [Gawker]
Bristol Palin I'm No Homophobe ... I Was Just Defending My Mom [TMZ]
Bristol Palin: I'm "Totally" Not Homophobic [The Advocate]
BRISTOL PALIN HECKLER: I'D DO IT AGAIN! [TMZ]