ADF and Politics
Like so many of his identities, ADF's political stances sometimes change abruptly and are all-consuming. Most notable is his Maoist phase inspired by a Hetalia cosplay, but in general his political positions are increasingly extremist and radical.
= The McCain-Naruto Incident
gaining attention online
As mentioned above, ADF at that time regarded himself as a gay man. He voiced regular appreciation for gay rights causes, yaoi anime and various BDSM practices. He made frequent reference to his supposed Latino ancestry, and Latino topics appeared regularly in his art. Many of his drawings revolved around the setting of "Australatina," a Latino-majority county of his own creation located somewhere north-west of the United States. He envisaged it as a land where gay rights were valued and enemies dealt with in a harsh, Israel-style fashion (see below).
His political views were much milder than they would become, and he expressed strong support for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. His posts were full of scattered passing shots at Republicans, Christian fundamentalists, etc. Despite his overall tendency to lean centre-left by American standards, he also frequently stated his approval for Israel, citing its relatively LGBT-friendly position as well as its uncompromising treatment of the Palestinians, as well as its external enemies, which he viewed as a model for dealing with the haters in his life.
His first political statement that could be considered radical appears to have been a DeviantArt journal post of 11th November 2008, in response to the controversy over California Proposition 8 then on-going, where he voiced support for "gay nationalism" and stated:
Now, I personally do not condone terrorism, but I have the common sense to understand how it can be justified. If the California GLBT community is smart enough if they want to end the injustice done to them by the evangelical Christians who voted for Proposition 8. They (the GLBT Community of California) will start learning how to start a serious series of riots, use guns, and build bombs, and before long -- THEY will start shooting Prop 8 supporters, White of Black. Those gays may even be bold enough to blow up public transport buses one day too. Or even suicide bomb the churches they backed Prop 8.
He drew heavy inspiration from Sasuke Uchiha, a character from the anime Naruto known for his ninja skills and dark, edgy personality. ADF expressly cited Sasuke as a role model on numerous occasions, and even signed some of his posts as "Sasuke" rather than "Felipe" (the name he used at the time). His interest in the character at this time was, however, not the unhealthy obsession it would later become.
Meanwhile, he continued to rant about Proposition 8 and associated issues.
= Shifting Away from Mainstream
After declaring himself Transgender, he began getting into slap-fights with other transgender DeviantArt users he felt were too supportive of the gender binary.
This seems to have marked the point when ADF began to distance himself from the mainstream LGBT community, of which he had previously regarded himself as an enthusiastic member. He took people's scepticism towards the legitimacy of his transgender status as evidence that the community is close-minded and intolerant, willing to disregard its less conventional members in its desire to secure mainstream acceptability. This disillusionment would become particularly emphatic when he began combining it with his quasi-communist beliefs later in the year.
On August 12th ADF made the life-changing decision to order the Axis Powers Hetalia China costume.. It arrived quickly, around a week later, and ADF immediately took photos of himself wearing it. In case any civilians reading this article need a quick explanation: Axis Powers Hetalia was a manga and anime which was very prominent in yaoi fandom circles c. 2009-2011. The characters were personifications of various countries, generally presented as cute anime guys in military uniforms. Imagine basically an anime version of Polandball, without the balls (and without the humour). Being a Japanese work, the characterisations of the countries relied in many cases on different stereotypes the western reader would be familiar with: the China character was depicted as being generally cheery and upbeat, with delusions of grandeur and occasional serious moments. The anime was set, vaguely, around the time of World War II, and modern politics were touched on very lightly. Communist aspects of the China character were rarely, if at all, mentioned. Can any of our gay anime fans advise as to how accurate this is? Hetalia passed me by almost completely at the time.
ADF essentially became a communist overnight based on this costume. While this may seem a slightly facile explanation, the reader will realise by now that ADF at the time was highly suggestible, and with a track record of making drastic alterations to his persona to fit in with his current anime role models. On the 21st he suddenly declared he was now a Socialist, having previously never suggested holding any politics further out than the centre-Left, and just over a week later he went full communist, Quoth he:
|“||EVERYONE IS EQUAL - Race, Ethnicity, Religion, Sex, Sexuality, Gender Identity and expression - This is freedom you will never see if you settle for Capitalism, or from a broken two-party system, or from Human Rights Campaign and the Gay Bourgeois that dominate a corporate controlled media in this country.||”|
He immediately went all-in on the communist aesthetic: luxuriating in the Soviet visual language of red stars, hammers & sickles, etc. Actual substantive political content was much rarer, aside from vague blasts against capitalism, the "gay bourgeoisie" (whom he viewed as being essentially in league with the capitalists) and so on. It should be noted that he did not "become" China in the way he "became" Sasuke or Sakura previously: he made regular posts in the idiom of the China character (as well as many in a stereotypical communist idiom, with frequent references to struggles, gulags, etc.) but he continued to sign off as Sakura. Sakura essentially served as his "personal" persona while communism became a parallel "political" persona.
ADF was challenged on the suddenness of his turn to communism, people immediately noting it took place very shortly after the China costume arrived. ADF would have none of this, and claimed that, in fact, he had been a communist all along. His sole item of evidence was an essay he claimed to have written for college in 2006: a clunky Marxist analysis of a Langston Hughes poem. He later supplied another timeline, this purporting to be proof he had really been a communist the whole time. We can wonder how much of this was massaged in retrospect. 
- DeviantArt Journal, 02/04/09
- DeviantArt Journal, 18/11/08
- DeviantArt Journal, 29/04/08
- DeviantArt Journal, 10/03/09
- DeviantArt Journal, 12/07/10
- DeviantArt Journal, 12/08/10
- DeviantArt Journal, 21/09/10
- DeviantArt Journal, 29/09/10
- DeviantArt Journal, 28/11/10
- Picture D4