Omar Mateen used gay dating apps, liked drag queens?

Omar Mateen (via MySpace)
Omar Mateen (via MySpace)

There are strong indications that Orlando shooter Omar Mateen was conflicted not only about his life, but also his sexuality. Multiple sources are now claiming that Mateen exhibited behavior that may indicate he was a closeted gay man. According to witnesses, Mateen had been a regular customer at the gay nightclub Pulse since 2013. Ty Smith and Chris Callen are a gay couple who performed in drag at Pulse and befriended Mateen after frequently seeing him at the club. The pair stated that Mateen often was so drunk he had to be removed from the club and often talked about his strained relationship with his father. “I’ve seen him a couple of times at Pulse, a couple of other people that I’ve spoken with, including an-ex security guard, have actually witnessed this guy at Pulse many times before,” Callen said.

The couple stated further that Mateen seemed comfortable and attracted to transgender men in drag. The pair stated that they distanced themselves from Mateen after he pulled a knife on someone over a religious joke. But the indicators that he was gay did not end with visiting the club; he also used the gay dating app “Jack’d” as well as “Tinder” and “Grinder” to meet men. One regular customer at Pulse identified as Kevin West claimed that Mateen tried to meet up with him several times but the two never saw each other until the day of the attack. That is when West stated he saw Mateen an hour before the shooting and said “Hi” to him as they passed. Mateen also said hello but was talking on a cellphone and continued to walk past West. After the shooting when West recognized Mateen on TV, he went to law enforcement officials and voluntarily turned over his cellphone and “Jack’d” login ID to help in the investigation. In addition, Mateen’s first wife Sitora Yusufiy, 27, said that she believed that Mateen was attracted to men and also that his father had called him gay in front of her.

Mateen seems to be in line with a condition called mascupathy, a term coined by psychologist Dr. Randy Flood.  In his book Mascupathy: Understanding and Healing the Malaise of American Manhood it is defined as “As a mental health disorder, a pathology of masculinity, stemming from a socialized exaggeration of genetic masculine traits — aggression and invulnerability — and a reduction of inherent feminine characteristics — openness and sensitivity. The symptomology — inadequate self-awareness and governance, emotional numbness and instability as well as relational ineptness, instability and withdrawal — results in deficient intimate partnerships and parenting, excessive competition and one-upmanship, and violence against women and others.” Dr. Flood further stated to rolling out: “The root of this problem is our idea of what manhood means in our Western culture. What is weak and what is strong, these things are confused and keep us out of touch with our emotions and damages our relationships.”

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.



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