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Pete Buttigieg walks back ‘grumpy’ criticism of LGBT media

Nick Duffy September 23, 2019
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg walked back his criticism of LGBT media outlets

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg walked back his criticism of LGBT media outlets (Scott Olson/Getty)

Pete Buttigieg has walked back his claim that LGBT media outlets attack him for being the “wrong kind of gay”.

The out Democratic presidential hopeful had come under fire after claiming on September 18: “I can’t even read the LGBT media anymore, because it’s all, ‘he’s too gay, not gay enough, wrong kind of gay.’

“Like, jeez, alright. All I know is life became a lot easier when I just started allowing myself to be myself, and I’ll let other people write up whether I’m ‘too this’ or ‘too that’.”

A number of mainstream outlets have published negative opinion pieces about his sexuality from LGBT+ writers, with The New Republic retracting a column in July that referred to the candidate as “Mary Pete”.

However, coverage from LGBT+ outlets has largely focused on the historic nature of Buttigieg’s campaign, the backlash from anti-LGBT Republicans, and his moderate politics.

Pete Buttigieg corrects his ‘grumpy moment’ about LGBT+ media.

Speaking to Buzzfeed’s AM2DM on Saturday, Buttigieg was asked why he had “come for queer media” at a time of instability for the industry.

He responded: “I appreciate the question and the chance to clear this up.

“Just to be clear, LGBTQ media plays an increasingly important role, especially at a time like this.

“I had a grumpy moment where I was thinking about some of the coverage that I do get frustrated with that seems to tell people how to be gay [sic].

“And that’s, to be fair, happening in a lot of different sources and places online, and it’s one reason why as a candidate, it’s healthy just not to read too many clips about yourself to begin with.

“But I don’t want to take away from the very important work that’s being done in the queer media right now.”

He added: “Look, when you’re a politician, you’re fair game. Even though I don’t think of myself as a politician, I’m running for political office.

“Everything you say is on the record, everything has an impact, and it’s important to make sure that you’re saying things in the right way and they have the right effect.”

Democratic candidate told coming out story during debate.

The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, told his coming out story during his closing remarks at the third US Democratic debate last week.

He said: “As a military officer serving under ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’, and as an elected official in the state of Indiana when Mike Pence was governor, at a certain point, when it came to professional setbacks, I had to wonder whether just acknowledging who I was was going to be the ultimate career-ending professional setback.”

Democratic presidential hopeful Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg speaks during the third Democratic primary debate
Democratic presidential hopeful Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg speaks during the third Democratic primary debate (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty)

Buttigieg added: “I came back from the deployment and realised you only get to live one life. I was not interested in not knowing what it was like to be in love any longer. So I just came out.

“I had no idea what kind of professional setback it would be, especially because inconveniently, it was an election year in my socially conservative community.

“What happened was that when I trusted voters to judge me based on the job that I did for them, they decided to trust me, and re-elected me with 80 percent of the vote.

“What I learned was that trust can be reciprocated and that part of how you can win, and deserve to win, is to know what’s worth more to you than winning. And I think that’s what we need in the presidency right now.”

Social media users praised the landmark moment, adding that it shows how much has been achieved when it comes to LGBT+ rights.

More: democrat, Democratic, LGBT media, Pete Buttigieg

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