Dean Browning, a white political activist from Pennsylvania, acknowledges he accidentally tweeted about being “a black gay guy,” but his explanation as to why has only further deepened an internet mystery into how the now-deleted tweet came to be.
“I am a black gay guy and I can personally say that Obama did nothing for me,” the Tuesday tweet read, as shared by multiple journalists. Many observers initially suggested Browning had meant to send that message from another account, rather than his own.
But Browning — a former Lehigh County Commissioner and business executive who this year lost a GOP congressional primary by 4% of the vote — soon tweeted his explanation: “I was quoting a message that I received earlier this week from a follower.”
A video shared by Browning as evidence for his claim was viewed more than 200,000 times before Twitter permanently suspended the account for violating the platform’s rules, according to a statement emailed to USA TODAY.
The nearly minute-long video featured a man who appears to be sitting at home. “… I am indeed a gay, black man. The message that you saw on Dean’s Twitter was posted — I don’t actually know how it was posted — but I did send it to him because I had a problem with how people of my race and sexual persuasion are treating Donald Trump.”
For many on social media, the video raised more questions than answers as some scoured the internet for evidence to help identify the man who supported Browning’s explanation.
USA TODAY has not confirmed those theories and has reached out to Twitter and Browning for comment.
Browning describes himself on Twitter as “A proud pro-life & pro-2A Christian conservative dedicated to enacting common sense solutions to Keep America Great.” He is listed as the Chairman of the Common Sense Solutions Political Action Committee.