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  /  News   /  Missouri GOP candidate says ‘don’t be weak and gay’ in campaign video

Missouri GOP candidate says ‘don’t be weak and gay’ in campaign video

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) — Valentina Gomez, a Republican candidate for Missouri Secretary of State, told prospective voters not to be “weak and gay” in a provocative campaign video released on social media over the weekend.

“In America, you can be anything you want, so don’t be weak and gay,” she says while running through the streets of St. Louis wearing what she’s described as a weighted vest. The song “The Show Goes On” by rapper Lupe Fiasco is dubbed over the video.

Gomez shared the video on Sunday, May 12, via X and Instagram.

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“Stay [expletive] hard,” Gomez says before the video cuts away to a photo of her holding a rifle and pistol in each hand. She tagged social media influencers Andrew and Tristan Tate on the post. The Tate brothers are currently under investigation in Romania for rape and human trafficking, and they’re facing additional allegations in England.

Gomez’s video has more than 2 million views on X and 7,200 likes on Instagram as of early Wednesday afternoon.

“This is cringe,” one X user wrote, while another person called the video “bizarre.”

Some Democratic leaders have also condemned Gomez’s comments.

“To all LGBTQIA Missourians, your existence should not be used as a political football,” Missouri state House Minority Leader Crystal Quade (D), a candidate for Missouri governor, said in a Tuesday post on X. “You’re loved & belong in Missouri & I won’t stop until our laws reflect that.”

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Gomez, a self-described real estate investor, is running to succeed Jay Ashcroft as Missouri Secretary of State this fall. Ashcroft is running to become Missouri’s next governor.

Her latest video wasn’t the first to make the rounds nationally this year. In February, she shared a video of herself lighting LGBTQ-inclusive books ablaze with a flamethrower. She claimed she would burn “all books that are grooming, indoctrinating, and sexualizing our children” if elected.

It’s also not the first time she has used remarks like “Don’t be weak and gay” on social media; she also published that phrase on X in March.

Some LGBTQ+ users on X made fun of the video by saying they agreed with the sentiment.

“I’m not a Republican, but she kind of ate here,” said one X user. The term “ate” originated in Black and Latinx drag culture and means “to do a good job” or “is right.”

Another person quipped: “Has she seen gay men? They are in the gym more than anyone.”

One X user jokingly theorized that “the gays will literally just put this on a dance track.”

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Online, it’s long been a tradition for some LGBTQ+ community members to laugh at homophobia to lessen its effects.

A few memes that have arisen in this regard include the “Millie Bobbie Brown is homophobic” meme from 2018, and more recently, Whitney Chewston, a dachshund owned by a gay couple. The dog found internet fame when LGBTQ+ users posted innocent-looking photos of it with captions like “I have a homophobic slur to say” or “Pack it up, Skittles Squad.”

Gomez reiterated her remarks in a statement to Nexstar’s KTVI on Thursday, saying: “President Trump and I are leading the charge to take our country back from the weak and gay Biden administration.” However, Trump has not endorsed Gomez or publicly acknowledged her recent comments.

According to the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office, Gomez and 10 others have submitted paperwork to campaign as the next secretary of state. The lineup so far includes seven other Republican contenders, three Democrats and one Libertarian candidate.