A US politician, who has publicly stated his opposition to gay marriage, has admitted to being a former drag queen and promoter of a Miss Gay America pageant.

Steve Wiles, a Republican Senate candidate in the state of North Carolina, initially denied being the talent behind Mona Sinclair, the MC of the weekly drag night at Winston-Salem’s Club Odyssey in the early 2000s.

“That’s not me,” Wiles said three weeks ago, reports the Winston-Salem Journal.

However, Randy Duggins, the former co-owner of Club Odyssey had no doubts as to Wiles’ former job: “I recognised his picture when I was looking in the paper. That’s definitely him.”

Duggins said Wiles was an employee of the club and directed the weekly drag show while the Miss Gay America website listed him as a former promoter.

“I have no ax [sic] to grind against him. I just think he’s a liar,” Duggins said.

Now an estate agent, Wiles stood in a Republican pre-selection contest in a largely conservative electorate where some communities have shunned the sale of alcohol, let alone embraced female impersonators.

This week, in an interview with Business Insider, Wiles confirmed his former job, saying it was an “embarrassment”.

“I think that everyone has their own choices to make,” Wiles said.

“For me, from a religious standpoint, just for my life… it just was not something that I wanted to continue.

“Of course it was an embarrassment, but you know, you move on.

“You live life, and you change, and you make yourself what you want yourself to be.

“And that’s where I am now.”

Wiles admission has done nothing to change his objection to gay marriage, though: “I don’t really understand how you can separate the fact that marriage is a religious institution.”

Wiles finished third in this week’s election.

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