A new Instagram account named @RuPublicans is raising awareness of the increasing number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the USA by combining well-known Republican politicians and the iconic RuPaul, to create parodies of Republican figures dressed in drag.
@RuPublicans, which has gained over 100,000 followers in under two weeks, uses AI-generated images to create parodies of politicians and was created by digital nomads Craig and Stephen, who use art and technology to express their political activism.
“We were bearing witness to the rhetoric and actions against the drag community, and it made us want to do something, so we had this idea of putting the GOP in drag.” Craig shared with TIME.
“What we’re creating is pure fantasy, but the fear that they’re spreading and the legislation that they’re trying to pass is reality for so many people,” Stephen added.
The Instagram page features politicians such as Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, and Steve Bannon in full-drag attire, along with assigned drag names for the featured individual.
View this post on Instagram
The account’s rapid growth has been credited to users sharing the images across social media platforms like TikTok and Twitter, with Craig adding that the project’s success lies in its topicality: “Artificial intelligence is in every conversation these days, and the issues around drag and trans rights are front and centre.”
Craig and Stephen hope that the account’s humour transcends political lines and that even Republicans can appreciate the satire.
“This isn’t something that’s just for the left or right,” Craig said, while Stephen expressed his desire to share the images on Fox News with Tucker Carlson, stating, “I don’t care what side of the political realm you fall on, they’re just hilarious photos that hopefully can appeal to everybody.”
The creators also emphasize the positive impact drag has had on their lives, as well as the lives of many others. The account shared a direct message to lawmakers on its Instagram story, stating, “We’re here, we’re queer, and we’re not going anywhere.”