Bernie’s Mittens Have Us Smitten; Meet The Queer Woman Behind Them

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01/23/2021

Whether it’s Senator Bernie Sanders joining the ladies of Sex and the City or outside our favorite LGBT nightlife establishments waiting for them to reopen (like most of us), we have all seen the viral memes of Bernie Sanders strolling into last weeks inauguration on a mission, documents gripped in his mitten laden hands. Those very mittens have now taken on a life of their own and the woman behind them, Jen Ellis, is getting requests from all over the world to recreate them. Originally of Essex Junction, Vermont (where she lives with her partner Liz and their daughter) Ellis is a schoolteacher who up until now, lived a seemingly quiet life. This past week though, that all changed when Senator Sanders wore the mittens that she had specifically made for him. (Ellis gifted the mittens to Sanders in 2016, as Ellis’ daughter attends the pre-school that Sanders’ daughter-in-law Lisa Driscoll owns). Ellis completed her remote teaching for the day in the midst of a massive Vermont blizzard, and as she tells The Advocate, the moment she walked in the door her partner Liz simply said “You’re not going to believe this.” Of course, Ellis is now getting worldwide requests for mittens that replicate Sanders’ now iconic look, with Ellis simply telling Slate “I think my gmail has crashed now.”

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