Meet 'Thirst-Trap Satirist' Megan Pope (and See Their Traps)

Saturday September 12, 2020

Amongst their accomplishments, Megan Pope lists "thirst-trap satirist." They is also a Brooklyn-based playwright and comedy person, journalist and podcast producer.

"I'm a nonbinary transmasculine comedy person who has been growing increasingly frustrated while finding my place in the queer community and the comedy community (which, in Brooklyn, are very closely aligned)," she described herself in a piece she wrote for Paper Magazine in July. "Before quarantine, I'd stand onstage driving myself crazy with the question of 'what I offered' to the audience. I'm not a hot gay boy or a cool lesbian or the makeup-wearing, glitz-and-glam comedy girl that the internet loves. I felt, and still often feel, like a pile of dust shouting into a microphone."

They turned that alienation into an Instagram meme in which they recreates some of "thirst-trap" pics they saw on social media. "Three weeks into lockdown, I was scrolling through Twitter and came across a viral photo of a guy lying on his stomach with his butt prominently featured, a hint of his computer visible in the right hand side of the shot. The caption: Being micromanaged in my underwear is much better than being micromanaged at the office. I laughed and sent it to a friend. 'If I recreated this, you think my trans dyke ass would get 5k likes?' 'LOL maybe,' they replied."

Pope then spent the eight weeks recreating "thirst-traps." "I spent hours scrolling through Instagram, clicking through pics of hot blonde boy accounts and topinstagaythirstxxx sites for the silliest poses. I recreated them in my room, slapping an exaggerated caption across the top — usually some inspirational quote or lyric akin to the original caption, framed in rainbows, glitter or emojis," they wrote.

The response was immediate. "After the first 30 pics, I got a flood of DMs telling me I was 'doing the lord's work' by dragging the Instagays. The gays themselves would re-post the parodies with comments like 'ART!,' 'Another serve, I got MegsPoped!,' and even 'Oh my god, I think I'm in love with you,'" they wrote.

"It's rare for cis men to recognize non-binary/trans people like myself (let alone re-post photos of bodies like mine in boxers and a binder), but thanks to the lubrication of comedy, these boys were liking, retweeting, and DMing me new photos to recreate."

For more on Molly Pope, visit their website.
Check out some of Pope's more than 100 Instagram "thirst-tweets" below:

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