Christina Cauterucci over at Slate really stepped in it this week when she published an op-ed titled: Is Pete Buttigieg Just Another White Male Candidate, or Does His Gayness Count as Diversity?
“So, is Buttigieg a run-of-the-mill white male candidate, or does his sexuality set him apart?” Cauterucci asks in the article, which has drawn massive amounts of criticism since it was published just yesterday.
She follows that up with another question: “Has Buttigieg faced setbacks or barriers to success because he’s gay?”
Hmmm. Perhaps Cauterucci didn’t read the part of Buttigieg’s bio that mentions he spent the first several years his military career serving under DADT. Or that he was the first openly gay municipal executive in Indiana. Or that when he first announced his bid for presidency, he was immediately bombarded with tweets calling him a “f*g perv” and “queer bait” among other pejoratives.
Cauterucci, who is white and identifies as a queer woman, then goes on to note that “Buttigieg isn’t just gay–he’s also white, male, upper-class, Midwestern, married, Ivy League–educated, and a man of faith.”
A marginalized sexual orientation can remain unspoken and unnoticed for as long as a queer person desires. A gay man who conforms to a critical mass of gendered expectations can move through life without his sexuality attending every interaction, even after he comes out. Buttigieg, for instance, would register on only the most finely tuned gaydar. Most people who are aware of his candidacy probably know he’s gay, but his every appearance doesn’t activate the “hey, that’s that homosexual gentleman” response in the average brain.
“Straight white male voters will likely find it easier to see themselves in Buttigieg than in the women or people of color in the 2020 field,” Cauterucci concludes. “But in a primary for the overwhelmingly pro-gay Democratic Party, Buttigieg can be more accurately lumped in with his white male peers than with anyone else.”
Now, cue the outrage…
So this article is saying that Pete Buttigieg has failed the oppression Olympics? After the author declared she’s against the oppression Olympics? Okay….
— Daniel Francis ? (@Franield) March 28, 2019
He was deployed twice to Afghanistan while in the closet, Christina. Which other white male or female candidates would you compare that to?
— Delta Burke-Quadrant (@thegarrett) March 28, 2019
Christina, I’m a big fan of your work on The Waves and Outward but this is dreadful. Assessing candidates’ worth based on their demographics over their ideas is bad enough. To write a gay person off as not part enough of the community because they’re not camp is unworthy of you.
— Duncan Reynolds (@duncanr2) March 29, 2019
Make no mistake, the fact @PeteButtigieg is making a real dent in the presidential race as an out, married gay man is a huge deal.
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) March 29, 2019
weird how bisexual youth are more likely to attempt suicide, even though Christina thinks it should be EASIER for them pic.twitter.com/xUapmHH2kO
— Ryan Williams (@capnryan) March 28, 2019
Wow. So we can thank Christina @C_Cauterucci for informing us that Mayor Pete Buttigieg didn’t come out as #gay for the right reason. It’s nice to know we have someone willing to judge whether our #LGBTQ credentials meet with her approval.
— Matthew Jacob (@mattindctweets) March 28, 2019
But it doesn’t stop there…
You really shat the bed with this one Christina
— ephemerenza (@ephemerenza) March 29, 2019
— Lucas Grindley (@lucasgrindley) March 29, 2019
yes I want a faggot for president no I don’t want slate’s caucus of queer-adjacent freaks like “Christina” “Cauterucci” deciding what that means BYE
— jonathan (@cry_twombly) March 29, 2019
6.5 years ago: the most socially progressive president in history refuses to support gay marriage until he’s forced by his VP.
45 months ago: gay marriage is still illegal in 13 states.
Today: “But is he gay enough to be president? Like is he the right kind of gay?”
— Whataboutista (@Whataboutista) March 29, 2019
Christina, I tried extremely hard to hide my homosexuality as a teen and an adult. The men who jumped me did not care that I was trying to conform. To be blunt everything you’ve said about the closet is misinformed. pic.twitter.com/6LkLjz5mcs
— Dream Animal (@UltimateXiphias) March 29, 2019
Buttigieg is the first to admit being a white male gives him advantages, but denigrating his experiences as a gay man because he doesn’t register on your gaydar is ridiculous. Obama went to Harvard and had a white mom— was he African American enough for you? Probably not.
— dcmonk (@dcmonk2) March 28, 2019
We could keep going…
What in your personal history led you to attack the first openly LGBTQ candidate for president like this? Why did you not mention the ways EXPLICIT homophobia are still widely accepted in politics and religion?
— Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons (@GuthrieGF) March 28, 2019
Yeah exactly. He’s not the type of gay man the author thinks is “authentic”. And then a corollary to that is it means he hasn’t “suffered” because of his sexuality. It’s a crazy homophobic article!
— every hot pocket i eat is a policy failure (@JohnTeufelNYC) March 28, 2019
Hi @c_cauterucci, I am older than:
1) My right to marry
2) My right to sleep with who I want without fear of criminal prosecution
3) My ability to adopt a child in many places
4) My ability to serve in the military
But do go on, by all means https://t.co/ExvncNdN20
— Ari NotGayEnoughForSlate Cohn (@AriCohn) March 29, 2019
Just want to get this out of the way so I only have to say it once:
It’s a big deal that an openly gay man is a serious contender for a major party’s presidential nomination, and if you’re liberal who wants to equivocate about that too much, you can pretty much fuck right off.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) March 29, 2019
But we think you get the picture.
Sometimes the headline tells you it was bad idea to even ask the question
— Rat Milk Oreos (@morrtis_) March 28, 2019