AP Photo/Alex Brandon
- Rep. George Santos competed as a drag performer in 2008, former acquaintances said.
- Santos, who is gay, has backed anti-LGBTQ legislation and conspiracy theories.
- Santos has faced a slew of allegations related to his past, and has admitted lying about his resume.
Embattled GOP Rep. George Santos competed as a drag queen in Brazil in 2008, according to two acquaintances, despite the new lawmaker, who is gay, now backing anti-LGBTQ legislation and aligning himself with the most right-wing Republican lawmakers.
Two acquaintances of Santos’ from the Niteroi suburb of Rio de Janeiro told Reuters that Santos used to compete in drag beauty pageants there.
One of them, a performer who uses the drag name Eula Rochard, said Santos competed in a pageant in 2008, and that she met Santos three years before that, when he cross-dressed for the suburb’s first-ever pride parade.
The other source told Reuters that Santos had taken part in drag queen beauty pageants and had wanted to be named Miss Gay Rio de Janeiro.
According to MSNBC columnist Marisa Kabas, who spoke to Rochard, Santos went by the drag name Kitara.
Kabas shared a newspaper picture that allegedly showed Rochard and Santos in drag together.
—Marisa Kabas (@MarisaKabas) January 18, 2023
Since being sworn into office earlier this month, Santos has increasingly aligned himself with the far-right of the Republican Party, some elements of which have accused drag queens of grooming children.
Santos has also backed legislation that has been criticized for harming LGBTQ people.
Santos said he supported Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which critics have labeled the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and which bans discussion of LGBTQ issues in classrooms between kindergarten and the third grade, while also limiting discussions for older children.
Santos said last year that Florida’s governor had “signed a law to protect values and the innocence of children.”
He added: “The Left is hellbent on creating a false narrative because they want to groom our kids. As a gay man, I UNAPOLOGETICALLY support this law!”
Human Rights Watch said last year that it was supporting Santos’ election rival, pointing to his support of the Florida bill and saying Santos “has been a vocal opponent to pro-equality values.”
Since his election victory last November, Santos has admitted to lying about his education background and work history, as well as previous claims to be Jewish.
More recently it was reported that Santos used a fake Jewish name on GoFundMe because he thought Jews would give more, and that despite claiming that his mom was at the World Trade Center on 9/11, she wasn’t even in the country at the time.
Santos did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.