• Teen creators on TikTok are sharing videos of themselves imagining a world in which Vice President Mike Pence becomes president.
  • The videos assume the vice president could open summer camps meant to promote long-debunked conversion therapy for members of the LGBTQ community.
  • Pence has a history of making inflammatory statements about the LGBTQ community, though he’s been quiet on related issues as vice president.
  • Visit Insider’s hom page for more stories.

Creators on TikTok have taken to the popular social-networking platform to share videos that imagine a world in which Vice President Mike Pence assumes the role of president and sends LGBTQ people to “conversion camps” meant to turn gay people straight.

Such camps have been found to be ineffective and harmful. The videos, in turn, seem to have struck a chord among a large portion of TikTok’s user base, which according to a previous Insider report has been a vital platform for LGBTQ youth. The #mikepence tag on the platform, which is used by creators to tag their videos to appeal to a wider audience, has some 11.1 million views, per data from TikTok. #Pence has accumulated some 4.6 million views, while #mikepencesummercamp has amassed more than 237,000 views.

On each tag, many of the videos are related to the conversion-camp meme, mixing it with other popular TikTok trends.

One clip, which has racked up more than 7,000 likes since it was posted at the end of December, uses another popular format that relies on the creator walking toward the camera and greeting various people they might see at a particular location. In the video, the creator pretends to be at one of the camps and greets her “gay friends,” her girlfriend, and the “TikTok lesbians” with a smile, though her demeanor turns sour when she pretends she has spotted Pence.


Comment who youd wanna see at summer camp * #pencesummercamp#summercamp #mikepence #gay #lgbt #fyp #foryou#foryoupage

lDid Too Much - LLusion

Another video posted December 27 follows a separate popular format, which includes Taylor Swift's 2006 song "Should've Said No." The TikTok Creator imagines taking a state test in school in the not-so-distant future when one of the questions on the test asks whether she's a member of the LGBTQ community. When she selects "yes," a fictional Mike Pence tells her - using the voice of a young Taylor Swift - that she "should've said no." The video has more than 140,000 likes.


I hope no ones done this yet #mikepence#justajoke #impeached #takeajoke #mikepencecamp#LGBTQ

lShould've Said No - Taylor Swift

The joke, of course, is a response to President Donald Trump's impeachment and the possibility that Pence could become president.

In the comments, some users reminded the creator that Trump was still president. Others remarked that "people don't understand America's laws," as Trump's removal from office by the Senate is considered unlikely.

Part of the joke in many of the videos seems to be that sending LGBTQ youth to centralized camps could backfire on Pence, as it would just put LGBTQ community members in close proximity with one another.

"Since gay camp is coming up this summer, I thought I'd remind you guys of the rules," a TikTok creator named Cas Wormwood said in a video with more than 72,000 likes. Wormwood, whose bio on the social-media platform says they're a "Camp counsrlor at Pence 's gay camp," then goes on to joke that LGBTQ people would maintain their identity at the camp, inviting gay men to share beds and trans people to wear the clothing of their identified gender.


GAY CAMP RULES #gaycamp #meetmyfam #lastminutexmas#lovemybffbut#mikepence #summercamp #queer #gay#bi #lgbt

loriginal sound - queercas

According to The New York Times, a popular group of LGBTQ TikTok creators known as "Cabin Six," which has amassed nearly 34,000 followers on the platform since the group was established, chose its name in reference to the Pence meme, as the "cabin" would exist in one of the hypothetical Pence camps. The group's profile photo on the platform is an edited version of the vice president's official White House portrait.

While Pence has not commented on LGBTQ issues since he became vice president in 2017, he previously made inflammatory statements regarding the community.

According to CNN, Pence spoke out against gay people in the 1990s during a fight for equal protections for gay people in his home state, Indiana. Pence said at the time that equal protection should not apply to one's sexual orientation because he believed that people chose to be gay and that it was a "learned behavior."

In 2000, Pence's campaign website suggested that funding for HIV/AIDS resources should only be renewed if resources were also "directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior," according to Snopes.

As Insider previously reported, a White House spokesperson last year said that Pence could not be considered "anti-gay" because he met with the Irish prime minister and his partner, who is gay. His wife, second lady Karen Pence, received backlash in 2019 for working as a teacher at a Christian school in Virginia that does not admit students who participate in or condone homosexual behavior.

The White House did not immediately respond to request for comment.

While many of the more popular videos involved in the Pence conversion camp meme originated in December, the format was still popular in January, and some TikTok creators began to incorporate a new piece of news, the growing fear of an impending third World War.


#legostarwars#pence #wwiii

lthings I lost - mattierogers69

One TikTok creator posted a video to the platform that suggested he wasn't worried about a war, adding that he thought Pence would "send [him] to camp instead."

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Comment who youd wanna see at summer camp * #pencesummercamp#summercamp #mikepence #gay #lgbt #fyp #foryou#foryoupage

lDid Too Much - LLusion