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Trump Explains His Love of ‘Y.M.C.A.,’ Which He Claims Is the ‘Gay National Anthem’

Young man. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Yesterday Donald Trump sat down for an hour-long podcast interview with the Nelk Boys, a.k.a Canadian YouTubers the Toronto Star describes as some of “the most recognizable personalities for young people in North America.” (I live in North America but I’m old, so I’ll have to trust them on this.) As hosts Kyle Forgeard, Bob Menery, Steve Deleonardis, and Salim Sirur knocked back cans of their Happy Dad hard seltzer, Trump proceeded to make so much ridiculous news that outlets didn’t quite know what to do with it.

The Daily Mail went with this headline: “Trump claims he sent German Chancellor Angela Merkel a white flag as a ‘gift’ for ‘surrendering to Russia’ by signing the Nord Stream 2 agreement.”

While Politico Playbook chose to highlight this: “Donald Trump was asked how he saw the invasion of Ukraine unfolding, and he answered by knocking the use of windmills and green energy …”

To be sure, both of these sentences are quite unhinged. But they also check out with everything I know about Donald Trump. The biggest news of the interview, as far as I’m concerned, is that the former president has finally explained his love for the song “Y.M.C.A.”

Trump’s passion for the 1978 song by disco group Village People is the stuff of legend. It became a staple at Trump’s 2020 campaign rallies, and it even served as the outro for his entire presidency.

Trump loved to bounce around onstage to “Y.M.C.A.,” but weirdly he didn’t do the universally known dance moves. Village People lead singer Victor Willis noted in an interview with BBC News, “Donald Trump does what Donald Trump does. I’ve never seen him actually put his hands up and make the Y.M.C.A. He’s changed it to M-A-G-A or something.” (Willis said the group asked Trump to stop using their song, to no avail.)

Instead, Trump created his own “dad dance,” which became a meme. Trump fully embraced this, tweeting out a supercut of himself bopping to the song on Election Day 2020, with the caption “VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!”

Trump’s Twitter account has been deleted, of course, but presumably the video looked something like the MSNBC compilation below. (The Full Send Podcast has suffered a similar fate. Late on Thursday, YouTube removed the Trump interview after classifying it as “content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches changed the outcome of the U.S. 2020 presidential election.”)

Many were perplexed by MAGA-land’s enthusiasm for “Y.M.C.A.,” since Trump’s crew has a reputation for being scarily homophobic and the song is widely assumed to be about gay sex. (To be clear, I would never suggest such a thing, as Willis, who wrote the song, has promised to “sue the next media organization, or anyone else, that falsely suggests ‘Y.M.C.A.’ is somehow about illicit gay sex.”) But on the Full Send podcast, Trump made it clear that he’s well aware of this association and has no problem with it.

Toward the end of the interview Trump was asked about reports that he’s been DJ-ing at Mar-a-Lago events. He explained that when Mar-a-Lago advertises that the ex-president will be “playing the role of DJ,” that doesn’t mean he’s spinning records. “No, I don’t spin, but I pick. I pick the ones I like,” he said.

So basically, Trump is a DJ in the same way that Kendall Roy is. But what bangers, specifically, are on his approved playlist?

“‘Y.M.C.A.,’ the gay national anthem. Did you ever hear that?” Trump asked the podcast hosts. “They call it the gay national anthem. ‘Y.M.C.A.’ gets people up and it gets them moving.”

For the record, there is no official “gay national anthem,” though Wikipedia does describe “Y.M.C.A.” as one of several “classic gay anthems.” But according to my extensive fact checking (attending numerous weddings with cheesy DJs and high boomer attendance), his assertion that “Y.M.C.A.” “gets them moving” is 100 percent true.

This post has been updated.

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Trump Explains Love of ‘Y.M.C.A.,’ the ‘Gay National Anthem’