Missouri Republican candidate sparks uproar for Instagram video telling voters not to be ‘weak and gay’ as she runs in bulletproof vest

A controversial Republican candidate in Missouri is being slammed online for posting a video disparaging LGBTQ members as she ran in a bulletproof vest. 

Valentina Gomez, who is running for Secretary of State, posted the video on Sunday. “In America, you can be anything you want,” she said. “Don’t be weak and gay. Stay f****** hard.” The video then cuts to a photo of Ms Gomez holding a gun.

The video prompted immediate online backlash, with users mocking the bizarre video and condemning the anti-LGBTQ+ statement.

“‘Don’t be weak and gay’ supremely underestimates the strength required to coexist with idiots like this every day,” Brandon Wolf, national press secretary for the Human Rights Coalition, wrote on X.

It’s the latest in a string of controversial statements from Gomez, whose previous social media posts included setting fire to LGBTQ-inclusive books.

Valentina Gomez pictured running in a bulletproof vest in a campaign video posted 12 May. The Missouri Secretary of State candidate is facing online backlash after making an anti-LGBTQ+ statement in the video (Valentina Gomez)

The backlash to her videos, including the most recent has been swift online.

“So refreshing to see a female GOP candidate who never served in the military doing the whole veteran cosplay, stolen valor, bigotry as a substitute for strength routine as well as any man,” wrote former Missouri Secretary of State and veteran Jason Kander.

“Republican election denier Valentina Gomez, who’s running to be Missouri’s Secretary of State, posts bizarre campaign video telling voters not to be ‘weak and gay’, while wearing a bulletproof vest,” former NBCUniversal executive Mike Sington also posted on X. “She then ends it with a photo holding firearms. Perfectly on-brand for MAGA.”

But Ms Gomez is not without GOP supporters. Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida expressed his support for her campaign just last month.

“There is surely not another Secretary of State candidate in America possessing the energy of Valentina Gomez,” the GOP congressman wrote on X.

When asked about the criticism by The Independent, Ms Gomez said she plans on receiving an endorsement from Donald Trump. “President Trump and I are leading the charge to take our country back from the weak and gay Biden-Harris administration that has destroyed our nation,” she said. “I look forward to accepting his endorsement so I can ensure a free and fair election to the people of Missouri, where dead people and illegals will never be voting.”

“All of these cases against President Trump are baseless, and if he is facing jail time for defending our freedoms and constitution, I am ready to speak the truth and defend him from this unconstitutional gag order from a compromised judge in the biggest election interference case in history,” Ms Gomez continued.

Last week, the Secretary of State candidate also vowed to “blow up” the “corrupt voting machines” she claims are enabling voter fraud. The post was accompanied by a photo of her next to a printer, with a handwritten label that reads, “Printing Votes x81 million.”

Ms Gomez is echoing the untrue and unsubstantiated claims by Mr Trump that he lost the 2020 election due to widespread voter fraud.

Earlier this year, Ms Gomez posted a video of her using a flamethrower to burn LGBTQ-themed books. X restricted the video soon afterward, stating it “may violate X’s rules against Hateful Conduct.”

At the time, online users compared her actions to the Nazi party’s book-burning practices in the 1930s. Meanwhile, one of the authors of a book Ms Gomez burned told NBC News the video was concerning.

Kathy Belge, co-author of Queer: The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide for Teens, told the outlet voters “should be concerned that a candidate for public office not only thinks book burning is acceptable, but that it is something that will help her get elected.”

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