Hit piece

Writer trashes Pete Buttigieg, says he’s “bad for the gays” because he made a joke about Grindr

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.”

Funny, right?

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…

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.

Related: Writer questions if Pete Buttigieg is “gay enough” to be the first gay president. Cue the outrage.