Gay Twitter is currently aflutter over #BeardedButtigieg, after Jim Fall, director of 1999 gay rom-com Trick, shared photos of the former mayor with a somewhat fuzzier than usual appearance.
First spotted by gay blog kenneth in the (212), Fall shared four photos of Buttigieg that he had run through FaceApp, a popular app that allows users to change their appearance — in this case, by adding facial hair to the normally clean-shaven Buttigieg.
The first came from a photo of Buttigieg by Vogue, taken last year. (It should be noted that Buttigieg has the slightest hint of a five-o’clock shadow in the original.)
“I’m voting that Buttigieg should have a beard,” Fall wrote.
The second, and seemingly more popular, set of alterations used photos of Buttigieg during his seven-month deployment in Afghanistan as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
Speaking to the Advocate, Fall said he created the photos after watching the Democratic Debate in Nevada on Wednesday, saying he was “impressed with [Buttigieg’s] ability to stay cool and smart.”
Fall also said the photos might lead to more positive engagement with Buttigieg among LGBTQ people online.
“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 said. “No matter what you feel about his specific politics, the LGBTQ community should be celebrating.”
As for the response on social media, he said #BeardedButtigieg “gives people pause. It’s like, dang, he’s smart and sexy.”
The response on social media would indicate Fall is correct. One user tweeted that they’d “swipe right on a #BeardedButtigieg,” while another urged the candidate to “give the people what they want!”
Some users opted for political humor while endorsing their appreciation of #BeardedButtigieg:
— The bad hombre of the North (@ArcticBromo) February 21, 2020
— Ryan Budd (@RyanKBudd) February 21, 2020
Some created their own bearded photos to add into the mix:
— JasunMarkXXX 🅙 (@JasunMarkXXX) February 21, 2020
Though with varying degrees of success:
— Khoi Do (@hogfanKGDO) February 21, 2020
And, perhaps taking things to the extreme, one person has even started a Change.org petition urging Buttigieg to “Grow the Beard,” declaring “America Needs a Hot President!”
As for Fall, he told the Advocate he is “still on the fence” about who he will vote for in the Democratic primary, with his top picks being either Buttigieg or Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
“Elizabeth doesn’t look so good in a beard or mustache, so I didn’t post those,” he said.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!