#PantSuitNation: Facebook Group Urges Clinton Supporters to Suit Up And End Negativity - NBC Bay Area
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

Full coverage of the race for the White House

#PantSuitNation: Facebook Group Urges Clinton Supporters to Suit Up And End Negativity

The group now has 100 moderators looking at 150,000 posts a day to make sure they all remain positive.



    #PantSuitNation: Facebook Group Urges Clinton Supporters to Suit Up And End Negativity
    CQ-Roll Call,Inc.
    Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton arrives to address the crowd on the stage of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the final night of the Democratic National Convention, July 28, 2016.


    That’s what a Facebook-inspired group of friends is urging in the waning hours before the election: Suit up for group selfies and plaster them over the internet to give Hillary Clinton a big win on Tuesday.

    But more than just taking a silly photo, the grassroots Facebook community that has grown to nearly two million people in two weeks by Monday, is striking a deeper chord. People, even in the red states, are posting deeply personal stories of why Clinton is their choice, and they're backing her symbolically by wearing her signature outfit on Election Day.

    "Our small private Facebook group has quickly become a movement," wrote its founder, Maine resident Libby Chamberlain, in a fact sheet her friends were distributing to explain the pantsuit phenomenon. "We share stories about our grandparents, our children and our families. We support each other during this highly contentious election season and have created a refuge from the vitriol that is sweeping our nation. We encourage members to go high. We are a positive place, and the response has been astounding."

    Beyonce performs on stage during a Get Out The Vote concert in support of Hillary Clinton at Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio on Nov. 4, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio.
    Photo credit: Duane Prokop/Getty Images

    Many of the astounding responses have been bubbling up on the growing, albeit invite-only, Pantsuit Nation Facebook page. The fan base is coming from both the right and the left, with tales of Clinton support abounding from abortion to sexual assault.

    Among the stories being shared:

    • One woman who lives in the Bible Belt openly discussed what having the option of having an abortion meant to her after her fetus was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease.
    • Another woman described herself as a "white, Christian woman from the deep South, raised on Republicanism, guns and Sunday school" who couldn't be "prouder to cast my vote for Hillary Clinton."
    • And yet another woman wrote that she was assaulted in the 1970s in Boston by a security guard. Now, she is voting for Clinton to say: "We women are sick to death of being mistreated."

    One of the original co-organizers, Jacky Hayward of Alameda, Calif., told NBC Bay Area by phone on Monday that the group now has 100 moderators looking at 150,000 posts a day to make sure they all remain positive.

    "I've never seen a group go so viral," Hayward said.

    Hayward went to high school with Chamberlain in Deerfield, Mass. The two along with several dozen other friends started the group after the third presidential debate, after remarking how they liked the white suit Clinton wore, which symbolizes the suffragist movement. They wanted to host a safe haven for others to share stories. They are pleased, but not surprised, that their forum is drawing all sorts of cheers from across the country.

    "We live in California," Hayward said. "So many of these people can't talk about these things in the Bible Belt. There is such a need for this. We need this positivity to heal our nation."

    Most visibly, the group's call to action has inspired working women, babies and even super stars to suit up and represent their political choices with pantsuits. Beyonce wore a black-and-white polka dot pantsuit at her Friday night Clinton rally in Cleveland.

    And it's not just women who are joining the movement, either.

    Seven men wearing pantsuits in a rainbow of colors stood in San Francisco's predominantly gay Castro neighborhood on Sunday night. They were voting for Clinton because they believe she will be the best candidate to support LGBTQ issues.

    "More than pantsuits, we're a proactive community group," Hayward said.


      #Repost @embo_ann ・・・ Pantsuits for Hillary! #pantsuitnation #imwithher #floridaforhillary #hillyes

      A photo posted by Pantsuit Nation (@pantsuitnation) on

      #Repost @jgchesney ・・・ Speaking on #DigitalTransformation today while living it! #PantsuitNation #YEG #RiseAbove

      A photo posted by Pantsuit Nation (@pantsuitnation) on

      In the Bay Area, Pantsuit Nation pictures will be taken here, according the private Facebook group compiled by Chamberlin and updated regularly:

      • Monday, San Francisco, City Hall Polk Street entrance 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
      • Monday, Oakland, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Lake Merritt by the Fairyland sign.
      • Monday, Walnut Creek, 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Walnut Creek BART station on the walkway between the station and the garage structure.
      • Tuesday, San Francisco, 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.: One Market Street, at the entrance of building next to One Market restaurant.