Currently the only thing on Twitter doing anything to shake this awful funk we’re in because of this horrible cartoon campaign season is @TwinksForTrump, a real-life manifestation of the Gay Agenda that wants to let Trump and everyone else know that Trump is #daddy. (For the most straight readers out there, a twink is a young, skinny gay man.)
Cody Permenter, a 24-year-old who works in social media in Seattle, started the account less than a week ago and has already accrued over 3,000 followers.
Can you tell me when you first thought of creating the account?
Really the idea behind this account started with a video CNN did a while back. They had these three bros who were Trump supporters, and they were trying to talk about how younger people were supporting Trump, and painting it into this “movement.” I thought those interviews were absolutely hilarious, and I just made a comment to my friend, “What is up with these twinks nowadays? What are these twinks for Trump doing?” And then I was like, “Oh, Twinks for Trump. That sounds kinetically pleasing and could be hilarious.” I was wondering if there are actually gay people who support Donald Trump. That’s kind of how the whole idea came around. [Ed. note: the account’s bio picture is of Tate Moyer, the most twinkish of CNN’s Trump bros.]
Do you self-identify as a twink?
No, I’m definitely not a twink, which is also why I think it’s hilarious. I am a gay man, but I’m definitely more of a cub or a bear. Also hilarious to me is the idea that this large gay man could run a Twinks for Trump account. A point that the Twitter account’s trying to make is how absurd Donald Trump’s campaign is, and to match it with an equal amount of absurdity.
The account seems to have amassed a following really quickly.
I honestly have no idea how it took off. I think people just recognize how ridiculous the concept is, and I think that as the 2016 election unfolds, it’s becoming more and more serious, and people just needed a chance to laugh about it and bring a little bit of humor back into it.
Have actual gay supporters of Donald Trump interacted with the account?
I’ve had several accounts follow it that are like, “bromo,” which is a homo bro, I guess. They were tweeting in support. I’ve had a wide variety of people interacting with this. The most intriguing to me are these individuals from the LGBT community who actually support Donald Trump and think he would actually be the best president. They’re kind of interesting.
You would think, in general, Donald Trump’s supporters would not be the most gay-friendly. So have you had any negative reactions from Trump’s incredibly angry supporters?
I’ve had a few tweets that are like, “I’m glad I’m not gay” or whatever, a little derogatory, but a lot of the Trump supporters have been positive and were almost welcoming. I think there is something to say that the supporters of Trump are probably not as bigoted as Trump is. There hasn’t actually been a harsh backlash. A lot of people understand that it’s a joke and satire and that it’s supposed to be funny. Some think it’s real, and are really angry at me and don’t understand how the internet works. For the most part, people are just having fun with it.
Of the people getting upset at the account, what is their main criticism?
It’s mostly that Donald Trump is not the most gay-friendly candidate, and that has elicited a negative response from them. They probably can’t believe that, like, “Oh, he has the twinks supporting him now — what group isn’t supporting him?”
So these are people who dislike Donald Trump and are upset at the idea of gay people supporting him.
Yeah, that’s definitely a large faction of people that are following and interacting with the account. It’s definitely been more liberal criticism than conservative criticism, I would say. But this is not a large amount of criticism. Most people understand the joke. What’s most intriguing to me are people who are actually gay GOP members who are following the account and having a good laugh with it.
Where are you sourcing the pictures from?
Just Google Images.
Are you just Googling, like, “Twink”?
Yeah, I Google “Twink” and then a lot of porn comes up, so I have to put SafeSearch on. That’s been interesting. I can’t really pull my phone out and Google that in public.
Do you have an end goal with the account?
It’s bringing a level of absurdity to the election that can match Donald Trump’s absurdity, and having fun with it. I’m not naïve, I know that this election will have a lot of consequences for a lot of people, and some of those won’t be so good depending on who wins, but I think that we shouldn’t lose our ability to have fun and to laugh at it.
Donald Trump interacts with almost anyone who tweets at him. If he does interact with you because you’re tweeting positive things and he has an ego, is that a goal?
Oh, for sure. That’s been one of my main goals. Of the characteristics the account has taken on, No. 1 is that Trump is “daddy.” So he gets at least ten to 12 tweets from the account, responding to his tweets, letting him know that he’s daddy because we want Donald Trump to know that. That’s been a goal. I think it’d be hilarious if he actually retweeted it and thought he had the support of twinks, which in reality is maybe five people in the U.S. or something. I don’t know if he’s dumb enough to do that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is dumb enough to do it.
What happens to the account if Trump doesn’t win?
I’m kinda just playing it by ear. I don’t have a lot of long-term plans, but if he’s not the nominee, I think it’d also be hilarious if it continued to troll him for the rest of his life.
What do you think of the Bottom for Hillary campaign? It’s a much more … earnest take on gay men and politics.
I think it’s hilarious and does have a very earnest goal. My goal is not earnest at all.
It’s just trolling, at the heart of it.
Yeah, I would like to get that across. Like, how can you troll the master troll? That’s one of the goals of the account.
Who are you supporting in the election?
I haven’t decided! I’m gonna support the Democratic nominee, whoever that is, but I do need to decide who I’m gonna caucus for. I’ve also seen a hashtag called Bottoms for Bernie. I don’t think it has many followers. But if any members of Bottom for Hillary or Bottoms for Bernie want to convince the Twinks for Trump founder who he should caucus for, then they’re free to do that.
So it’s an unequivocally bad thing if Donald Trump is elected. But is it a good thing for Twinks for Trump?
It would be a good thing, theoretically, for the character. It would be a bad thing for me because I don’t want to be doing this for four years, and it would probably go to a dark place, because I don’t think a Trump presidency is going to be a funny or good thing. Hopefully he doesn’t win.
Do you think Donald Trump knows what a twink is?
He’s from New York, I’m sure he’s seen a twink or two.
Is the Twinks for Trump brand expanding?
I’m making shirts! Maybe a hat. Kind of to see how this is going to evolve. I’m just playing it by ear, in the same way Donald Trump seems to be playing his campaign by ear, making up shit as he goes.
This interview has been edited and condensed.