A prominent conservative Twitter user was accused of posing as a gay Black man after sending out a strange tweet on Tuesday. The Twitter fail ultimately exposed Patti LaBelle’s son as a far-right blogger.
Dean Browning, a former county commissioner and failed congressional candidate from Pennsylvania, oddly claimed on his official account to be a gay Black critic of former President Barack Obama.
"I'm a black gay guy and I can personally say that Obama did nothing for me, my life only changed a little bit and it was for the worse," Browning said on Tuesday. "Everything is so much better under Trump though. I feel respected - which I never do when democrats are involved."
The tweet went viral on late Tuesday and was promptly deleted by Browning. In a statement not long after, Browning alleged that he had merely repeated verbatim a message sent to him from a gay Black supporter of President Donald Trump.
"Regarding the tweet that is going viral from my account — I was quoting a message that I received earlier this week from a follower," Browning claimed. "Sorry if context was not clear. Trump received record minority votes & record LGBTQ votes. Many people won’t say it vocally, but do in private."
The Daily Dot reached out to Browning.
Twitter users quickly uncovered an account run by the alleged gay Black Trump supporter, @DanPurdy322, who often replied to Browning's tweets.
No definitive evidence at this time, however, proves a link between the two accounts.
In a bizarre twist, however, the @DanPurdy322 account released a video not long after. And in another twist, the video's producer appears to be Patti LaBelle's adopted son, William Holte. In the video, Holte claims to be the gay Black man who sent the message Browning inadvertently tweeted.
Holte, who was LaBelle's nephew before she adopted him, making him her son as well, runs a self-described "anti-feminist TV critic" Medium blog under the name Byl Holte, the same name he uses for Facebook. The Twitter account he has linked to his blog, however, is suspended.
The Dan Purdy account, which is apparently run by Holte, was suspended on Tuesday. The Daily Dot reached out to the account before it was suspended.
Update 7:16pm CT, Nov. 10: While Twitter told the Daily Dot the account was "permanently suspended for violating the Twitter Rules," it did not clarify which rules were violated.