Pete Buttigieg headlined a brunch for the LGBTQ Victory Fund in Washington D.C. on Sunday where he talked about meeting his husband, Chasten, on a dating app.
In his inspiring and relatable 20-minute speech, Buttigieg said he first spotted Chasten while scrolling through profiles online, but joked it was “possibly not the app you’re thinking of.”
Well, Jacob Bacharach over at The Outline certainly didn’t think so! In a rambling new op-ed titled Why Pete Buttigieg Is Bad For The Gays, he writes:
The joke is a good one for a largely gay crowd. It says that Mayor Pete knows about Grindr, just like you. He’s no prude! But it also lets him implicitly disapprove of the more explicitly sexual nature of Grindr. And there’s a constituency there. Among that certain kind of gay, saying “I’m not on Grindr” is the cultural equivalent of the equally snooty, “I don’t watch TV.”
Or maybe Mayor Pete really isn’t on Grindr. Plenty of gay guys aren’t.
Bacharach goes on to accuse Buttigieg of selling himself to Americans as “a type of unthreatening, socially acceptable, vaguely conservative gay identity.”
“He wants to define himself as a very specific kind of family man,” Bacharach opines. “A veteran, a Christian, and a fierce, married monogamist, in stark moral opposition to the gross, philandering current occupant of the White House. This is probably good politics. I’m not so sure it’s good for the gays.”
Bacharach then gives a laundry list of reasons, some more coherent than others, as to why he feels this way. What it ultimately boils down to is this: He believe Buttigieg’s squeaky clean image turns gay people “into just another boring, bourgeois constituency of the vacuous center of American politics.”
And this, to Bacharach, is bad. Very, very bad. Because god forbid LGBTQ people ever be viewed as anything other than magical rainbow unicorns.
Naturally, Twitter has had a lot to say about Bacharach’s op-ed…
Pete Buttigieg won’t publically confess to having had Grindr orgies. Therefore he’s bad for gays.
Or something like that.https://t.co/lEjzII5Fyu
— Yeyo (@RealYeyoZa) April 9, 2019
Going to ask the harasser who called me a faggot on the street the other week whether or not he thinks Pete Buttigieg is bad for the gays!
— Alex (@hellohubbard) April 8, 2019
It’s really important for the electorate that Pete Buttigieg gives a detailed account of every grindr hook-up he has had.
— Yeyo (@RealYeyoZa) April 9, 2019
I don’t understand this article. @PeteButtigieg is bad for gay people, because he made a joke about Grindr? Heteronormativity and monogamy is kind of boring, sure, but it’s stupid to say that makes him less gay or hinders the advancement of LGBT people. https://t.co/K7FgzO55YA
— Alex Reimer (@AlexReimer1) April 9, 2019
We are fundamentally in two different Americas: the one where Pete Buttigieg isn’t gay enough because he didn’t meet his husband on Grindr, and the one where in 29 states you can still be fired for being gay.
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) April 9, 2019
Caitlyn Jenner is bad for LGBT Americans.
Pete #Buttigieg is not. And a major publication calling him “bad for the gays,” is wildly inappropriate.
There is no “correct” way to be queer in the public eye.
— Brianna Wu (@BriannaWu) April 9, 2019
Seeing lots of people dragging that “Why Pete Buttigieg is bad for gays” article, so why not throw my opinion into the mix.
My qualm about Pete Buttigieg is that as a gay person of color he’s a reminder that you have to be white first. Of course white gays feel represented.
— José Alonso Muñoz (@munozjose) April 9, 2019
Critique Pete Buttigieg’s politics all you want, but calling him “bad for the gays” in a headline is the most click-thirsty, irresponsible bullshit possible.
— ella dawson (@brosandprose) April 9, 2019
Gay Bernie supporter who is remarkably similar to Pete Buttigieg in almost every way just happens to think Buttigieg is “bad for gays” https://t.co/QeARvwkE5C
— Adam (@adamjayarr) April 8, 2019
What’s “bad for the gays” is letting your narcissism and hunger for hollow drama get in the way of making a good point. But it is also the cornerstone of our culture, something Pete Buttigieg would know NOTHING about…
— George Civeris (@georgeciveris) April 9, 2019
Last month, Christina Cauterucci at Slate faced similar backlash when she published an op-ed titled Is Pete Buttigieg Just Another White Male Candidate, or Does His Gayness Count as Diversity?
In it, she questioned whether the 2020 hopeful, who spent the first several years his military career serving under DADT, had ever actually “faced setbacks or barriers to success because he’s gay.”
“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,” Cauterucci wrote. “Buttigieg, for instance, would register on only the most finely tuned gaydar.”
It sounds like Bacharach and Cauterucci should get together. They’d probably have lots to talk about.