A YouTube star has “purchased” the town of Hell, Michigan, re-named it “Gay Hell,” and outlawed flying any flag that is not a Pride flag as a protest of Donald Trump. Elijah Daniel, a YouTube comedian and musician, announced he had bought the town in protest of the Trump administration’s decision to ban U.S. embassies from flying the rainbow flag during Pride month.
This is, as you probably assumed, a bit. Since 2016, Hell’s “unofficial mayor” John Colone has been attempting to sell the town for just shy of $1 million. Since you can’t really own a town in practical terms, and Hell isn’t actually a town but an unincorporated community, what this means in reality is Colone is offering up 5 acres of his commercial real estate, along with merchandising rights for souvenirs and associated punny town slogans. Seeing as how Daniel only “bought” the town “temporarily,” presumably the amount of money he spent was much closer to $0.
In fact, Hell’s entire vibe is mostly being a bit. There’s a wedding chapel where you can get married in Hell, and a bar called The Hell Hole, and a Damnation University, and also mini-golf. And now, by Elijah Daniel’s decree, only the rainbow flag may be flown in Hell, except not actually because of course not. This is not even Daniel’s first trip to the Hell well. In 2017, in protest of Trump’s travel ban, Daniel paid $100 to become Mayor of Hell (again, not a real job) for a day and ban heterosexuals from the town (again, not actually.)
As far as YouTube bits go, however, this is a pretty good one. The message is straightforward, everyone involved is on board with it, and no one has to be the victim of an awful “prank” in service of the almighty YouTube like-and-subscribe. Enjoy Gay Hell while it sticks around.
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