YouTuber buys Hell, Mich., renames it Gay Hell in defiance of Trump

ABOVE: Comedian Elijah Daniel purchased three days of naming rights to the town and changed the name to make what he said is a statement against President Donald Trump's decision that no U.S. embassy may fly the rainbow flag.

Some people take trolling to the next level. Case in point: YouTuber Elijah Daniel, who just purchased an entire town in Michigan to stick it to U.S. President Donald Trump.

You may be familiar with Hell, Mich., a storied town founded in 1841 and known for its blunt, straightforward name. It’s now known as Gay Hell, Mich., thanks to Daniel.

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The 25-year-old announced on Tuesday that he’d officially purchased the entire town for two weeks in an act of protest against Trump, who recently rejected U.S. embassy requests to fly the rainbow Pride flag during June’s LGBTQ2 Pride Month.

“Ahead of pride month Trump’s administration put a ban on embassy’s flying pride flags,” Daniel tweeted. “So as of today, I am now the owner of Hell, Michigan. I bought the whole town. And my first act as owner, I have renamed my town to Gay Hell, MI. The only flags allowed to fly are pride.”

Later, Daniel clarified that the flag “rule” was a joke and said there was no ban on any other type of flag.

Gay Hell, approximately 32 kilometres from Ann Arbor, has been for sale for years, and Daniel wouldn’t reveal how much he paid since he’s working to permanently purchase the town.

The Detroit Free Press lists the property value at US$900,000 in 2016, and some unofficial population estimates peg the community’s number of residents at around 75 people.

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Daniel, who was born and raised in Michigan (and now lives in California), said he would frequently drive past the town in his youth, and during his “very religious” upbringing, he was often told that if you’re gay, you’re going to hell.

In 2017, Daniel pulled a similar stunt by becoming mayor of Hell for one day and banning all heterosexual people in the town.

He’s hoping that his stunt will inspire his followers to become more involved in politics and to visit Michigan. As of this writing, the YouTuber’s channel has more than 500,000 subscribers.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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