Shortly after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife announced they were splitting, Mr Trudeau posted a photo of him and his son dressed in pink going to see Barbie. Some conservatives took the opportunity to post homophobic remarks about the world leader, but only to face tremendous backlash.
“We’re team Barbie,” Mr Trudeau wrote, wearing a pink sweatshirt with his arm around his son, Xavier, standing in front of a Barbie poster.
“I’m proud of you choosing to finally come out & live as your authentic self,” one person replied, and another commented, “When is he coming out?”
Others tried to insinuate the prime was gay, and attributed his wearing pink and seeing Barbie as to why he and his wife are separating. One user wrote, “this is why your wife left you.” Someone else remarked, “Yeah, we know. We’ll be waiting for the OTHER announcement soon.” Yet another commented, “We have long suspected which ‘team’ you prefer, Justin. Your wife finally figured it out, too.”
Some even suggested that Mr Trudeau was dating his son. One person tweeted: “That’s who you left your wife for? Interesting.” Another remarked, “New boyfriend?” One social media user tried to be clever: “Trudeau seen out on the town with his favorite ken doll just after separating from his wife.”
But as far as the comments went, the backlash went further. A number of social media users came to the Canadian leader’s defence.
One user wrote in response to the photo’s bizarre reactions: “the weird obsession that republicans have with calling people gay needs to be studied. like this is an illness at this point.”
Another social media user pointed out how absurd some of the claims were, remarking, “Being a present father is now gay.” Along the same lines, another person commented, “Some of your daddy issues are so severe that they manifest in calling every loving father gay.”
“Right-wing accounts are responding to this photo of Justin Trudeau with his son with accusations the teenager is his lover,” another user laid out. “It’s hard to overstate how perverse and sexually-preoccupied the far right is. I don’t even bother to call out most of it anymore because it’s so sick.”
Mr Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau jointly announced last Wednesday that they would be separating after 18 years of marriage.
“As always, we remain a close family with deep love and respect for each other and for everything we have built and continue to build,” the prime minister wrote in a statement on Instagram. “For the well-being of our children, we ask that you respect our and their privacy,” he continued.