As you may have noticed, images of Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg sporting a beard in his military gear have become ubiquitous on social media and started the hashtag #BeardedButtigieg trending.
The images are the creation of Trick director Jim Fall, who added the scruff to real photographs of Mayor Pete with FaceApp.
Fall originally posted the images on Facebook.
Gay news site kenneth in the (212) ran the photos with the headline: “Mayor Woof for President,” and, “I’ll bet the gays wouldn’t be complaining about this candidate.”
The comment is a reference to attacks on Buttigieg’s gayness and authenticity by members from the more radical corners of the LGBTQ community.
Explaining the impetus for the doctored images in The Advocate, Fall said:
“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. I see so many gay men on social media knocking him down, and it’s disheartening. You don’t have to love him or even support him, but don’t disrespect him. Don’t eat your own.”
Fall said the enthusiastic response to the photographs shows that people are now taking a fresh look at the candidate. “I think seeing Pete with a beard gives people pause. It’s like, dang, he’s smart and sexy. That’s an intoxicating combination,” he said.
Fall did post a photograph with Buttigieg sporting scruff that is real, taken when he was rower at Oxford University which the 23 year-old Rhodes Scholar attended after his graduation from Harvard.