Syracuse University student Matt Gehring wanted to be ‘something scary’ this Halloween. Really scary. So he decided to dress up as the outspoken conservative commentator Tomi Lahren — red dress, blond wig and fake mic and wagging index finger included.
Lahren, 24, is famed for her sharp-tongued comments on culture and current affairs which she dishes out weekly in her closely watched ‘Final Thoughts’ segment on Glenn Beck’s The Blaze. Recently, the University of Las Vegas-Nevada graduate went viral on Facebook for taking down the likes of Beyonce, Colin Kaepernick and POTUS himself.
@TomiLahren i feel so bad for your parents
— matt gehring (@mattryanx) October 20, 2016
In an article for Teen Vogue Gehring explained that the idea for his costume originated after the third presidential debate, when Tomi’s anti-Hillary tweets started rubbing him the wrong way.
To get his point across, he decided to put on a red dress, blonde wig and heels and rocked up a Halloween party dressed as Tomi, the ‘scary’ ‘racist, xenophobic and misogynistic’ white anchor. The following day he posted a picture of his outfit on Twitter. It got a few retweets, then started picking up steam. Four days later, Gehring’s “scary” costume had goten 120,000 “likes” and over 54,000 retweets.
As the picture made rounds, Gehring received some support from tweeps (and Beyonce fans) who applauded his witty parody. But strongly worded responses from Tomi’s supporters were just as quick to follow.
Gehring, who is openly gay, got trashed for virtually anything one could possibly think of. He got called an “AIDS infected queer,” a “faggot,'” “sexist” and even “transphobic” for suggesting with his costume that dressing up as a woman is scary.
— Ne Obliviscaris卐 (@JustinCampbel18) October 31, 2016
Despite all the calumny, Gehring says he doesn’t regret one bit impersonating Tomi: “Screw the haters. They are meaningless to me.” Rebuking his critics, he explained that “petty tweets” don’t affect him and that he absolutely supports Tomi’s right to express herself and say what she wants, especially in a society that so often discourages women from doing so.
Tomi didn’t directly respond to Gehring’s tweet, but she seemed to allude to it in one of her posts where she wrote: “Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Thanks!”
And she was quick to put her right to free speech into practice with a thematic Halloween costume of her own.