It turns out Bernie Sanders supporters aren’t the only Democrats using sex appeal to make their candidates trend on social media.
Earlier this week, images of gay presidential hopeful and former Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg sporting a full beard spread like wildfire on Twitter and Facebook, prompting scruff-loving gays to thirst over #DaddyPete.
— Ryan from Atlanta (@RyanKBudd) February 21, 2020
— Anders (@itsmeand3rs) February 21, 2020
— J Heck (@What_the_Hckrt) February 21, 2020
Can’t stop thinking of the phrase “Daddy Pete” send help
— Huw Lemmey (@huwlemmey) February 21, 2020
But there’s more to #BeardedButtigieg than meets the eye: Filmmaker Jim Fall, who directed 1999’s Trick and 2003’s The Lizzie McGuire Movie, actually doctored the photos of the normally clean-shaven politician, The Advocate reported Thursday.
Fall said he used the photo-editing tool FaceApp to add Buttigieg’s ample facial hair, decking the candidate out with scruff, a beard, and even a mustache in a triptych of three images.
He was reportedly inspired by Buttigieg’s performance at this Wednesday’s Democratic debate—which was also widely viewed as a win for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who brutally took down former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“It’s amazing to me that we are living in a time where an out gay married man is a serious contender for the presidency,” Fall told the magazine. “No matter what you feel about his specific politics, the LGBTQ community should be celebrating.”
The filmmaker added that he’s still on the fence between backing Buttigieg or Warren, whose platform skews further left. Regardless, he’s over seeing other members of the LGBTQ community “knocking [Buttigieg] down.” Some particularly impassioned queer activists even launched Queers Against Pete, a collective that argues the more centrist Dem’s politics don’t accurately represent the views of America’s broader LGBTQ community.
“You don’t have to love him or even support him, but don’t disrespect him,” Fall opined. “Don’t eat your own.”