Did you know that 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is gay? Of course you do, but do you know he’s not the right kind of gay, and by some measures is even straight?
Slate’s Christina Cauterucci wrote a piece explaining that yes, Buttigieg is gay, but he’s also white, male, upper-class, Midwestern, married, Ivy League–educated, and a man of faith. Did he ever experience true oppression as a gay man? Then The Outline ran a piece asking if Buttigieg was bad for gays with the headline, “Mayor Pete might be the most palatable gay man in America. That’s precisely the problem.”
Over at the Los Angeles Review of Books, Greta LaFleur noted that the TIME cover of Buttigieg and his husband Chasten looked like a Norman Rockwell painting, it was just so … white. She went on to claim that the cover depicted “heterosexuality without women.”
Now the New Yorker is on the case trying to explain the queer movement against Buttigieg.
“A straight politician in a gay man’s body.” He’s straight because he isn’t a hard leftist. I kid you not. https://t.co/Lmb5o4QQjv
— Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish) February 13, 2020
The notion that some of us think Buttigieg is not gay enough has an identifiable relationship to the facts, which are that, for the purposes of this discussion, people who grew up queer in this country fall into two distinct categories of experience. One is the experience of never fitting in, being bullied by classmates for the way you walk, the way you look in clothes, the way you hit or fail to hit—all the things that set you apart before you have language to describe them…. And then there is the other experience, the life of blending in, only to surprise your classmates—or, more likely, former classmates who follow you on social media—with the revelation that you are gay. I am not arguing that one category of experience is worse or more difficult or painful than the other. There are people who revel in their specialness from an early age, and there are people who fit in but feel tormented by their deep secret. I am saying only that these two kinds of experience are very different.
See, there it is again. Buttigieg might be gay, but he embodies the straight, white male experience. And furthermore: “Buttigieg is the ultimate candidate of the country’s post-2016 trauma. He is not a woman. He is not a socialist. He is decidedly not a revolutionary. He does not make big, sweeping promises, except one: that nothing much will change, only Donald Trump won’t be President.”
So Andrew Sullivan is right: the argument about Buttigieg is that his politics aren’t gay enough.
so homosexuality is a political stance, got it
— Marley Jones (@paxoneiros) February 13, 2020
Has the term "straight-adjacent" been coined, yet, or can I claim credit?
— Mad Bogeyman (@MadBMan) February 13, 2020
The left keeps alienating people and eating their own. These people are not about kindness and compassion. They are control freak bullies and this is their new religion.
— Frida Flassan ? (@FFlassan) February 13, 2020
He fails the wokeness test!
— CalifManx (@CalifManx) February 13, 2020
— The Commissariat of the Imperium (@Lord_Commissar) February 14, 2020
So Pete is not gay enough for some LGBTQ members. I assume someone acceptable to those people would be too extreme for the general public and unelectable. But I guess they will want what they want and will have to do without it.
— Nilla Mano (@AlanMolin34) February 13, 2020
Sexuality exists on a spectrum. Unless you’re gay, in which case it’s binary.
— Billy Bob, purveyor of whiteness (@postpostmoderne) February 13, 2020
Shouldn’t the goal be that gay people come in all different spectrums including center and right political leanings?
— Irish Tom (@irishtom11783o1) February 13, 2020
I wish they'd define "gay" so we can all point out how ridiculous their assertion is.
— Piping Hot Centrist Takes (@CentristLogic) February 13, 2020
God I just read this and it was worse than I expected
— ? Skylar Baker-Jordan ? (@SkylarJordan) February 14, 2020
Just like how Peter Thiel isn't gay because he spoke at the RNC. Didn't know one had to do with another, but we're all still learning right? ?
— The Worst ? (@Rhejde) February 14, 2020
The same happened to Peter Thiel: Some argued he's not gay, given that he's a conservative. They argued the he just has homosexual sex.
These people are nuts.
— eggsnbeans ??? (@eggsnbeans1) February 14, 2020
Narrator: There's no measure by which he's not a hard leftist.
— Canine Defense League (@CanineDefenseLg) February 13, 2020
He isn’t a hard leftist? If he’s not, what is?
— Thomas Adams (@nyc_8585) February 13, 2020
Yeah Andrew… Pete's a Far Leftist neo progressive. Almost all of his views are authoritarian in nature. The push back he's receiving is because although he's gay, he's a white male, and for people who worship at the Church of Intersectionalism, there is no greater sin.
— No Day But Today (@HistoryofMatt) February 13, 2020
The argument goes awry at the end where Gessen declares @PeteButtigieg to be “profoundly…conservative” and promising little change save a new president. It’s too bad that an esteemed journalist such as her would distort his platform like the rando Bernie twitter army.
— Clark Kirkman (@ClarkKirkman) February 13, 2020
He IS a hard leftist
— Coffee Licker ☧ (@triceraranger) February 13, 2020
According to outlets like MSNBC, Bernie Sanders is the hard leftist, while Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Joe Biden are all “moderates.”
Watching Dems self immolate on absurd purity tests and identity politics never gets old.
— Undefeated Champion of Tweeter (@unbeatabletweet) February 14, 2020
Democrats are weird: all the black candidates drop out and Joe “Articulate and Clean” Biden picks up all the black support while Buttigieg can’t even count on the LGBT community to vote for him. It’s fun to watch, though.
TIME cover picturing the Buttigieg ‘first family’ is a display of ‘heterosexuality without women’ https://t.co/bU4ReAoo2x
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) May 21, 2019