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Queer Up

The Queer Schoolteacher Who Made Bernie’s Inauguration Mittens

A week ago, Jen Ellis of Essex Junction, Vt., was living her normal life as a schoolteacher with her partner, Liz, and their daughter. Now she’s getting thousands of emails a day asking for mittens like the ones she made for Sen. Bernie Sanders that he wore in a pic from last week’s inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris that went viral.
She told Slate “I think my Gmail has crashed now.” In just a few hours after the photo of the mittens went viral, Ellis had thousands of emails either requesting interviews with her or inquiring about how they too could get some mittens like “Bernie’s.” Ellis says she was actually one of the last to know that Sanders wore the mittens, as she was teaching during the inauguration. She said “As soon as I was done with my remote teaching, I hopped in my car and drove home. It was a huge blizzard yesterday up here in Vermont, so it took me forever. As soon as I walked in the door, my partner was like, ‘You’re not going to believe this.’” She initially gave the mittens to Sanders back in 2016. Ellis’s daughter goes to the preschool that Sanders’s daughter-in-law Liza Driscoll owns and operates. After Sanders lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton, she asked Driscoll to give him a pair of mittens she made. The various meme’s of her queer made mittons have been viewed an estimated 1 billion times since last week.

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