dinner date?

Gay candidate responds to homophobic caller by inviting him over for a spaghetti dinner

Matt Putorti is an openly gay Democrat currently running for the 21st Congressional District seat in the House of Representatives. Yesterday, he shared a voicemail he received from an anonymous caller accusing him of being a spy before dropping a bunch of antigay slurs.

As an out gay person, I was really excited to announce my campaign for Congress during #pride and knew what I was getting into,” Putorti wrote. “Less than a week later, I got this anonymous voicemail full of hate and homophobia. [Trigger warning.] While I’m not surprised, it’s not ok.”

Putorti followed that up with another one calling on Congress to pass the Equality Act, and then another one with a message to the anonymous caller.

“Finally, to the caller: My queer siblings and I are braver than you will ever be. But, if you want to talk person-to-person in a civil manner, please reach out; we can share a spaghetti dinner together.”


Speaking to local media, Putorti said he would be more than happy to sit down with the anonymous caller and have a heart-to-heart with him.

“One way to solve some fo these problems is to get to know each other. Maybe he doesn’t know a queer person,” he said. “I think that is one of the ways we can fix this hate that exists.”

Putorti, who is an insurance recovery and advisory lawyer, is hoping to win the Democratic primary so he can unseat Rep. Elise Stefanik, the antigay Trump Republican who replaced Liz Cheney when she was ousted as Chair of the House Republican Conference.

Within days of him announcing his candidacy, Stefanik began attacking Putorti, calling him a “socialist Democrat” and a “far-left” New York City lawyer who donated money to Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris, among others.

Putorti’s campaign responded in a statement by saying, “It says a lot that Elise Stefanik is so terrified of a challenger that she immediately resorted to outright distortions of who Matt is and why he is running.”

“Matt has made political contributions to Democrats up and down the ballot. In 2020 Matt donated to multiple Democrats in the Presidential primary because he believed defeating Donald Trump was critically important to our democracy.”

Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.