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Mike Pence in pink boots, Ron DeSantis in a big ball gown. Here’s how the ‘RuPublicans’ Instagram account uses AI art to call out GOP lawmakers — by dressing them in drag.

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Mike Pence, Ted Cruz and Ron DeSantis dressed in drag by AI.Mike Pence, Ted Cruz and Ron DeSantis dressed in drag by AI.

@RuPublicans/Midjourney, screengrabs from @RuPublicans

  • The “RuPublicans” Instagram account posts AI-generated pictures of GOP lawmakers in full drag.
  • The images range from Mike Pence in sparkly pink boots to Ron DeSantis in a big ball gown.
  • The duo behind the account told Insider they want to hit back at the “GOP’s anti-drag rhetoric.”

You’ve seen AI-generated art of the Pope in Balenciaga. Now get ready for Former Vice President Mike Pence, Gov. Ron DeSantis, and other GOP figures in full drag.

The images are the work of an Instagram account called “RuPublicans,” which uses AI to dress Republican lawmakers in drag — complete with frills, feathers, jewels, and wigs. The account’s name is a play on Republicans and RuPaul, a famous drag queen and television personality.

The AI images feature DeSantis in a bejeweled blue gown that would put Cinderella to shame and Pence wearing nothing but a bright pink blazer and glittery boots, paired with a fluffy feather boa.

Also seen on the account was Sen. Ted Cruz in pink feathers and bold winged eyeliner and Sen. Josh Hawley decked out in a slinky golden dress, to name a few. 

The captions are colorful, too.

“Cruzella Deville – Serving homophobic realness, she struts her stuff in fur coats lined with family values and defends every fetus and every gun, every day, heeeennnyyyy,” read the account’s caption on Cruz. 

 

And on DeSantis, the caption read: “Rhonda Santy – Category is: Book Banning Princess Eleganza. She’s on a mission to turn that Magic Kingdom into a Tragic Kingdom and isn’t afraid to give Mickey the finger(s).” 

 

Also featured in the AI art were other GOP figures like Sen. Lindsey Graham, pictured riding a fancy horse, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in all-pink drag regalia

The brains behind the account, married couple Craig, 37, and Stephen, 39, said the “GOP’s anti-drag rhetoric and actions” inspired them to find a way to hit back.

“Drag artists have brought us joy and laughter, helped heal old wounds, and given us the permission to love ourselves,” the couple told Insider in an email. Craig works in the education industry, while Stephen is a creative director in marketing and technology. They did not provide Insider with their last names for privacy reasons.

“For the past two weeks, we have been creating and posting AI-generated art and captions that are just as over the top and ridiculous as the false narratives around drag,” they said.

The duo said they used the AI image generator Midjourney to create the images.

“We don’t always get what we want, but sometimes the AI generator gives us something we couldn’t have imagined that blows us away, and we run with it,” the couple said.

Their first post on “RuPublicans” was uploaded on March 30. Within two weeks, they have amassed a following of more than 139,000 people, at press time.

Some of the GOP lawmakers in drag have a history of pushing anti-trans rhetoric 

Several GOP lawmakers that the “RuPublicans” account called out have, in the past, pushed anti-trans messages.

In Florida, DeSantis is targeting drag queens, framing his crackdown on drag shows as a crusade to protect children.

Cruz has been vocal about his distaste for trans people. In 2021, Cruz introduced a bill that blocked trans women from competing in women’s sports

In February, Pence railed against a school district’s attempt to create safe spaces for students in the process of transitioning

And at a Senate hearing on abortion rights in July, Hawley claimed that men cannot get pregnant, sparking a heated argument with a law professor who called his line of questioning transphobic. 

Anti-trans laws are also being enacted nationwide. Oklahoma banned insurance coverage for transgender care in February, and the South Carolina Senate passed a bill to ban gender-affirming medical care for minors in March.

Craig and Stephen said the content they create is “pure fantasy,” but “the fear the GOP is spreading and the legislation that they’re trying to pass is the reality for so many people.”

“Our hope is these images spark conversation and capture the hypocrisy of the GOP,” they told Insider. “If it takes wigs, glitter, and fashion to do it, we’re here for it.”

Representatives of Pence, DeSantis, Graham, Cruz, Hawley, and McConnell did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment sent outside regular business hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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