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‘Honey, it’s protest’: RuPublicans uses AI to turn top conservatives into drag queens

'That's the best Mitch has ever looked in his life.'


Claire Goforth


Posted on Apr 13, 2023   Updated on Apr 13, 2023, 1:14 pm CDT

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) as Cruzella DeVille. Ben Shapiro as Sister Slaypiro. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) as Rhonda Santy.

The Instagram account RuPublicans is using artificial intelligence (AI) to turn top Republicans into drag queens. People can’t get enough of it. In the two weeks since the account debuted Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as Anita Filibust-Her McConnell, RuPublicans have racked up tens of thousands of likes, thousands of comments, and crossed onto multiple platforms.

The Daily Dot found RuPublicans’ AI art on Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok.

In an Instagram story, RuPublicans recently wrote, “Drag isn’t just lip-syncing for our lives; it’s art, it’s heart, and oh honey, it’s protest.”

“To those in power serving up false narratives like an overcooked wig at a drag bunch, listen up: We’re here, we’re queer, and we ain’t going anywhere.”

Many of the targets of RuPublicans’ drag queen glow-ups have attacked LGBTQ rights in conservatives’ escalating war on equality.

The caption for drag queen DeSantis, Rhonda Santy, nods to the Florida governor’s crusade against LGBTQ acceptance and equality, which has led to book bans and him beefing with Disney for opposing the “don’t say gay” law.

“Category is: Book Banning Princess Eleganza,” RuPublicans wrote of DeSantis. “She’s on a mission to turn that Magic Kingdom into a Tragic Kingdom and isn’t afraid to give Mickey the finger(s).”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), which RuPublicans dubbed Speaker Sparklebottom, received similar treatment.

“[H]er 6 inch stilettos were handmade for stomping on LGBTQ+ rights. It may have taken 15 votes but she sits on the throne now, okurrr!” RuPublicans wrote.

In other images, the account references gun control, reproductive freedom, and disinformation.

Steve Bannon, aka Miss Misinformation, is said to offer “washed-up media mogul realness[.] Bombshell Bannon fires off conspiracy theories faster than Florida can criminalize where you poopoo kaka.”

“She’s a powerful queen who loves to control the purse strings AND your lady parts,” RuPublicans wrote of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), which it dubbed Lady Graham Cracker.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), or Ms. GoldenGaetz Showers, is said to spend her time “protecting army brats from fun and fabulous drag queen story hour. Never mind the guns at your school, hunty.”

The images have been met with laughter and applause across the internet.

“That’s the best Mitch has ever looked in his life,” a TikToker wrote of McConnell.

“OMG hold up they got [Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas] on a yacht,” @WUTangKids tweeted.

@calimama626 Sasha Away..#RuPublicans #workitgirl ♬ Supermodel (You Better Work) [7" Mix] – RuPaul

Many suggested putting the images on billboards. Several specifically referenced Tennessee, which recently banned performing drag on public property or in front of children.

People in the LGBTQ community and their allies are particularly fond of RuPublicans, who name is clearly a play on famed drag queen RuPaul.

Lesbian singer/songwriter Janis Ian posted a series of the images on her Facebook page. “Incredible work! Spread the love and give them a follow,” Ian wrote of what she described as RuPublicans “[transforming] today’s most powerful creeps into powerful drag queens.”

Online LGBTQ magazine queerguru called it “a very timely series of fabulous GOP GLAMMED UP.”

Now the public is clamoring for more. People have requested Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), and others.

The most popular image thus far is Rudy Giuliani as Rudy Garland. The post has nearly 45,000 likes as of this writing. The next closest is Justice Thomas with 22,000 likes.

RuPublicans described Giuliani/Garland as “the GOP’s downfall darling” who “used to run the Big Apple, but now she’s the juiciest peach on the streets, wandering the Upper East Side looking for her next gig (NOT the Four Seasons, honey).”

“You thought the only thing she could leak was hair dye? Girl, watch her spill the tea!”

Via email, RuPublicans told the Daily Dot, “Drag artists have brought us joy, laughter, helped heal old wounds, and given us the permission to love ourselves. So the GOP’s anti-drag rhetoric and actions made us want to do something. 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.”

RuPublicans said that they hope the fantastical images they’ve created over the last two weeks will “spark conversation and capture the hypocrisy of the GOP … If it takes wigs, glitter, and fashion to do it, we’re here for it,” they said, adding that advancements in AI in recent months have made their work possible.

They added that, while they’ve been surprised by how quickly the account has grown—it has 125,000 followers on Instagram—they’re not surprised that the images resonate with people.

“It’s bringing two things at top of mind for so many—artificial intelligence and the threats to drag artists and the LGBTQ+ community,” they said.

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*First Published: Apr 13, 2023, 10:43 am CDT