Why Some Lesbians Aren’t Backing Pete Buttigieg For President

Lesbians are torn between the first gay president and the first woman president.

Pete Buttigieg could potentially make history as the first openly LGBTQ president of the United States — but for some lesbians, that’s not enough.

A Politico survey found that the lesbian community is on the fence about “which glass ceiling to break first” in the 2020 election. Should they root for the first gay president or the first woman president? For many, the latter is more of a priority.

“Mayor Pete, he’s a trailblazer,” said Campbell Spencer, a lesbian and political consultant who worked in the Obama White House and now serves on the board of the LGBTQ Victory Fund. “But I’m one of these women who thinks we are way overdue for having a woman in the White House. That’s a lens through which I’m going to filter my decision.”

The president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, Annise Parker, agrees.

“As a woman, as a lesbian, as someone who was all in for Hillary Clinton and as someone who was a historic first myself, I would love to see a woman at the top of the ticket,” Parker said.

While people certainly acknowledge the significance of Buttigieg’s candidacy, some feel that it’s just another instance of male favoritism.

“It feels like a slap in the face to just go directly to the white gay guy, when for decades you’ve been trying to elect a woman and it didn’t happen last time,” one anonymous lesbian Democrat told Politico.

Elyse Cherry, a lesbian community activist in Massachusetts, pointed out that people with multiple marginalized identities often have to make tough political choices.

“The mistake is to suggest that we all stay in one lane — for example that if you’re gay you should be supporting gay candidates, or if you’re a woman you should be supporting women candidates,” Cherry said.

Despite Spencer and Parker’s opinions, the Victory Fund has officially endorsed Buttigieg for president.


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