‘The View’: Why Some LGBT Advocates Are Angry With Meghan McCain

Meghan McCain is used to making waves and sparking controversy as the outspoken conservative commentator on The View. Usually, it’s her sparring with co-panelists Joy Behar or, more rarely, Whoopi Goldberg that draws attention.

But last week, McCain drew ire from some LGBT rights advocates who found her appearance on The View alongside two RuPaul’s Drag Race alums hypocritical. The two drag queens and TV personalities, Nina West and Monét X Change, also received criticism for appearing on the show with the late Senator John McCain’s daughter.

Fans criticized McCain for presenting herself as an LGBT ally while being married to the publisher of an online magazine that frequently publishes articles that many see as homophobic and transphobic.

Meghan McCain
Meghan McCain | Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Monét X Change and Nina West of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ celebrated McCain’s birthday

On Oct. 23, Meghan McCain celebrated her 35th birthday on The View with co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Abby Hunstman, and Sunny Hostin.

Goldberg introduced former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants Nina West and Monét X Change as a surprise. The two queens honored McCain’s home state of Arizona with a cactus cake and pink sparkly cowboy boots.

X Change shared of their desire to appear on the show and support McCain, “When we did the panel back in June, it’s so important that representation does matter. The fact that ABC and Disney had amazing drag queens on national television, it was amazing. We were so grateful and Meghan was so sweet, so we wanted to be here.”

They also made McCain an official Ru Girl, to which she responded that she was “not worthy.”

West and X Change both won the title of Miss Congeniality when they appeared on Seasons 10 and 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. X Change additionally won RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 4.

Both drag queens experienced some backlash for appearing on The View for McCain’s birthday. One Twitter user wrote, “Meghan McCain is not an LGBTQ+ ally. Do better @NinaWest@monetxchange.”

West responded simply, “I do. Every day.”

Some fans thought McCain’s involvement with the LGBT community was hypocritical

McCain has gotten flack from LGBT activists and queer rights advocates in the past.

She has appeared many times on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen on Bravo, speaking about her lifelong support for gay marriage and other gay rights issues. McCain also faced criticism from fellow conservatives in her younger days for stating her support for marriage equality.

Additionally, McCain pushed back on The View against the “straight pride” parade in Boston earlier this year, as reported by Splinter News. She pointed out that many members of the LGBT community are still in physical danger because of their identities.

She said on the show: “I also think we’re ignoring the fact that trans women of color are being murdered, it just recently happened in Dallas. Hate crimes are still existing everywhere. So I think the idea that it’s still a comfortable place for the LGBT community in all spaces in this country is just not realistic.”

Critics pointed out that McCain’s husband publishes anti-LGBT pieces

Despite McCain’s comments, some LGBT activists found McCain’s self-described allyship hypocritical.

In particular, some fans of The View and LGBT rights advocates pointed out that McCain is married to Ben Domenech, co-founder and publisher of the conservative publication The Federalist. The Federalist is known for publishing homophobic and transphobic articles.

McCain previously stated that she and her husband are different people and don’t agree on all issues. However, some viewers pointed out that she criticized White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s husband George Conway for not pushing back against his wife’s behavior.

“If I felt like my husband were getting on TV and saying racist comments and things like this, and I was so outraged, we would be having a conversation,” she said on The View of the Conways’ marriage, as reported by The Daily Beast.

Advocates took to Twitter to call out McCain and ‘The View’

Many critics pointed out the contrast between McCain’s public support of LGBT rights and the views expressed in Domenech’s publication, especially in light of McCain’s argument that George Conway should be in some way responsible for his wife’s publicly stated opinions.

One Twitter user wrote on Oct. 24, “Yes it is relevant that Meghan McCain’s husband is a transphobe. If the idea is that she’s changing conservatives’ minds about LGBTQ people, she hasn’t even accomplished this task in her own home and clearly tolerates this.”

Another viewer also urged McCain to call her husband out for the anti-LGBT views expressed in his publication, writing: “I’m sure you will speak to your husband about this article. I hope your public face matches your private conversation with your spouse, who readily and publicly speaks negatively of the LGBTQ.”

The viewer linked to an article from The Federalist titled “Mixing Kids With Drag Queens Sets Gay Rights Back Decades.”

Yet another critic agreed, writing to McCain, “Do you want to be praised as an ally or profit off of anti-lgbtq hate?? Allies stand up for the LGBTQ. When are you going to stand up to your husband?”

Some ‘The View’ fans thanked McCain for her support

Some fans disagreed, arguing that McCain, no matter her husband’s views, had offered a huge platform to X Change and West on The View. Others said they were happy that such a public-facing conservative was speaking out in favor of gay rights.

“Since when do we bash folks for being LGBTQ positive,” said one viewer. “So she is Right and we are Left. 5-10 years ago she wouldn’t have come out on TV as loving drag Queens. Give her a break on this one. Happy Birthday!”

McCain responded to the backlash on Twitter

For her part, McCain responded to the backlash by pointing out that she had always been outspoken about her support of marriage equality, long before her involvement on The View. She posted a picture of herself holding an elephant (symbolizing the Republican party) as part of the NOH8 campaign for legalizing same-sex marriage from the late 2000s.

“This is me 10 years ago on the side of marriage equality,” McCain wrote on Twitter. “I believe allies should be out and present on BOTH sides of the aisle and that is the only real way to change hearts and minds in this country. I will continue to be an #LGBTQ+ advocate for whomever will have me.”