Sunday, September 15, 2019
The Misters Buttigieg
I hear a lot of straight people congratulating themselves on the presidential run of Pete Buttigieg. Even here in Canada people who speak of the American election often borrow from what they hear on American television, "It's a sign of how far we've come."
Who is 'we'?
Joe and I have been following Mr. Buttigieg's campaign fairly closely and therefore I can assure you, 'we' haven't come that far at all. Just take a moment to read comments on news about the 'gay candidate'. It doesn't matter Fox news or CNN and you will find vitriol. Absolute violent vitriol. Mayor Pete's last name starts with the letters 'Butt' so you can imagine the kind of hateful, homophobic remarks stem from that little coincidence.
Mr. Buttigieg is where he is because he fought to be there. He's pulling America forward. He's making it thinkable that gay people can achieve high office. It's down to him. I get up every morning and go on line to check to see if he's been assassinated, that's how deep and terrifying the comment columns are. The fact that Both of the Misters Buttigieg are up to this challenge and rise to every day possibly being the last, and this shouldn't be minimized by talking about 'how far we've come' as if 'we've arrived.'
No matter what happens, these two men have changed history and changed how gay people see themselves. But, I want him to win. I think he's a deep and thoughtful man. I believe he would be an awesome president.
Homophobia, however, can look like reasoned debate.
"He is so light on policy." Um, it is possible to be gay and to be profoundly ready, we 'light loafered' people aren't all ditzy with glamour, Buttigieg's policies and proposals are easy to find and are well thought out solutions to the problems faced by his country.
"He can't make his voice heard." After debates, where he has put in strong performances, often the wrap up news won't mention him at all. They will focus on other candidates as if he weren't there. It's as if a distinguished and erudite gay man isn't worth mentioning. But his voice is being heard, visit Team Pete in any of its iterations and you'll find people listening, and amplifying his words. And anyone really paying attention should notice that some of his early rhetoric has made it into the mouths of other candidates who by claiming it as their own when they speak, lie.
The likelihood that this will be read by either of the Misters Buttigieg is very, very, small, but if they do, I want them to know that to a elderly, disabled man in Canada and his husband of 50 years, you are changing more than America, you are showing what gay courage means every day you rise to fight your battles.
And we thank you for it.