Her message? “Don’t be weak and gay.” 

In turn, the response on social media was strong and decidedly gay. 

Valentina Gomez, one of eight Republican hopefuls in the race to be Missouri’s next secretary of state, on Sunday posted on X a provocative campaign video in which she can be seen jogging along a quiet road in a weighted vest and pink flower-print shorts.

“In America, you can be anything you want,” Gomez can be heard saying, slightly out of breath. “So don’t be weak and gay. Stay f–-ing hard.”

Gomez, a 25-year-old Colombian immigrant and real-estate investor, concludes the video with an image of herself smiling and holding what appears to be an assault rifle. A large American flag is placed to her right, a pickup truck can be seen just behind her and Lupe Fiasco’s “The Show Goes On” is turned up. (Fiasco appeared to address the ad on Tuesday, writing on X that his team was “currently taking action.”)

The video had nearly 3 million views by Thursday afternoon.

While some of the critical response to the video has been in earnest — including from lesbian tennis superstar Martina Navritilova, who called it “homophobic” — much of it has taken on a mocking tone.

Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, a Democrat and former Army intelligence officer, called Gomez’s post as “veteran cosplay.” 

“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,” he wrote Tuesday on X.

Rep. Becca Balint, a Vermont Democrat and an out lesbian, replied to Gomez’s X post on Wednesday, writing, “Not weak, just gay,” coupled with a painted nail emoji. 

Gomez’s vest, which she told NBC News was a weighted for fitness, was widely mistaken for a bulletproof vest. 

“Going for a run in full face wearing a Kevlar vest feels kind of weak and gay,” Brianna Wu, a queer video game developer and former candidate for Congress, wrote on X Tuesday, taking aim at both the vest and Gomez’s makeup.

Some gay men also posted pictures of themselves shirtless and flexing on social media in recent days, pushing back on the trope of gay people, particularly gay men, being weak. 

And in a move that appeared to troll Gomez, the female-founded and led online media company Betches released a collection of hats on Wednesday that read: “Be Weak And Gay.” The company said 20% of profits from the limited collection would be donated to Lambda Legal, a civil rights group that litigates in favor of LGBTQ rights.

In a statement to NBC News, Gomez did not answer questions about the content of the campaign video or the criticism she received in response. Instead, her response revolved around Donald Trump and included false statements of voter fraud. 

“President Trump and I are leading the charge to take our country back from the weak and gay Biden administration that has destroyed our country,” Gomez said in her statement. “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.”

She also denounced the four criminal probes of Trump, calling them “baseless.”

“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,” Gomez added.

Gomez’s “weak and gay” video wasn’t the first time the political hopeful went viral for her offensive remarks about LGBTQ people.

Earlier this year, she posted a campaign video on several social media platforms of herself lighting LGBTQ books on fire with a flamethrower.

“This is what I will do to the grooming books when I become secretary of state,” Gomez said in the February video, which has more than 4 million views, before setting at least two books on fire. “These books come from a Missouri public library. When I’m in office, they will burn.”

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