Rumors about Sen. Lindsey Graham’s sexuality have been going around for a while. But last week, the hashtag #LadyGraham exploded on social media in response to a gay porn star threatening to out a “homophobic Republican senator” whom he calls “LG” —the hashtag, along with the abbreviated form “Lady G,” purportedly refers to Graham’s nickname among male sex workers.
“There is a homophobic republican senator who is no better than Trump who keeps passing legislation that is damaging to the lgbt and minority communities. Every sex worker I know has been hired by this man. Wondering if enough of us spoke out if that could get him out of office?” Sean Harding wrote on Twitter last week. “EVERY major news network is in my inbox including high profile lawyers willing to take this case,” he added.
Harding also said he has “two male escorts willing to come forward,” to expose “LG.”
So far I have two individuals who would be willing to go public and support my claims. Anyone else?
— Sean Harding #BLM (@SeanHardingXXX) June 5, 2020
What followed has been a mixed bag of political commentary, wild speculation and downright trolling. And #LadyGraham was born.
For years, the gay rights movement encouraged Americans to come out of the closet. Outing politicians, especially those who hypocritically demonized LGBTQ people, was seen as a necessary part of the political project.
But in the age of social media, #LadyGraham could become a devastating scandal, not only for Sen. Graham, but for the entire Republican party.
Like a double-edged sword, the fury toward Graham over his embrace of President Trump and his policies, combined with a potential male prostitution scandal, could cost Graham his seat in the November election, and the Republican majority in the Senate at the same time.