Craig DeForest and his husband have been traveling the country in their Airstream camper, living the nomad life. In that time, they have grounded themselves by creating incredible artificial intelligence-created political commentary art with the wildly popular Instagram account RuPublicans, which they started in April.
The account has quickly gained a loyal following as the creators prompt the AI software to generate elaborate images of prominent Republican politicos dressed in drag.
As right-wing politics has continued to target the LGBTQ+ community, mainly through attacks on transgender people and drag queens, RuPublicans have taken conservative male politicians and activists to task by painting them with makeup and dresses to comment on the political moment the country finds itself in.
So, because of his awareness of recent anti-LGBTQ+ legislation nationwide, DeForest said RuPublicans decided to target Texas due to its implementation on September 1 of Senate Bill 12, a law that restricts drag performance, which a Texas federal judge has put on hold.
“That law could have a lot of effects on other types of performances too, because it’s so vague,” DeForest said. “So I thought it was a good opportunity to do something, and the time felt right.”
He said that after a previously successful fundraising effort resulted in RuPublcans raising more than $21,000 for the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana Foundation, it became clear that something more could be done.