Meet “Gaysper,” the friendly gay ghost cartoon from Spain
“Gaysper,” a gay ghost emoji, is here to show how to fight back against anti-LGBTQ groups who think that making a political cartoon against the LGBTQ community will be a good idea.
The rainbow-colored ghost emoji cartoon went viral after a Spanish far-right political party tweeted a graphic on Twitter just before the Spanish general elections last April 28.
The graphic unexpectedly gave birth to a new LGBTQ icon as queer and trans social media users started claiming the cartoon as an icon of resistance.
This is similar to how the “Babadook” monster became an LGBTQ icon as well.
The birth of “Gaysper,” the gay ghost
“Gaysper” originated from Vox, the Spanish far-right political party, who wanted to use a “gay ghost” emoji to represent the LGBTQ people in one of their graphics.
The Photoshopped graphic showed Aragorn, a character in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movie, facing off his enemies.
Aragon– played by Viggo Mortensen– had the emblem of Vox Photoshopped on his back while his enemies had different symbols representing the enemies of the party.
For example, there were emblems of the anarchist, the feminist, the Catalonia flag (symbolizing pro-Catalan independence), the communist symbol, and even the El Pais logo of a Spanish newspaper.
To represent the LGBTQ people, they came up with a ghost emoji that was rainbow-colored to show that they opposed same-sex marriage and the LGBTQ community.
Claiming “Gaysper” as resistance
Unfortunately, after the graphic was released, the image of the “gay ghost” emoji went viral with the LGBTQ community using memes to mock the group.
What’s more, LGBTQ social media users began to use the hashtag #gaysper– taken from “gay” and the name, “Casper.”
One user called on everyone to “please” reclaim the emoji for their own while another said the far right had given them a “new cute symbol.”
Even Netflix Spain joined the fun by Photoshopping pictures of the ghost emoji in screenshots of their horror films.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros wasn’t happy with the graphic: “We know the Lord of the Rings has loads of fans, but Warner Bros hasn’t authorised the use of our intellectual property for any political campaign.”
“Gaysper” was later joined other emoji ghosts like “Bisper,” “Lesper,” “Transper,” and “Pansper.”
Likewise, “Gaysper” now has its own Twitter account with over 5,000 followers.
According to El País, the ghost could be the work of Baiiley, a female designer selling items featuring the design through the online marketplace Redbubble.
The aftermath of the Spanish election
Unfortunately, this didn’t seem to affect Vox’s chances in Spain’s general elections as they won ten percent of the vote.
This is equivalent to 24 of the Congress of Deputies’ 350 seats.
Their victory marks the first time a far-right party sat at the parliament since the 1975 death of military dictator General Francisco Franco.
Santiango Abascal, the leader of Vox, has regularly spoken out against “supremacist feminism and gender totalitarianism.”
The group is intent on opposing same-sex marriage and even proposed a separate form of civil union.
In an interview with Spanish TV channel Antena 3, Abascal said: “We don’t consider a relationship between two men or two women to be a marriage, but it’s a civil union that needs regulating.”