Ahead of the LGBTQ+ Forum, Mayor Pete Buttigieg made controversial statements about his relationship with queer media. In an interview with Sirius XM radio host Clay Cane, the Democratic presidential candidate said that he didn’t read LGBTQ+ media. And while many expected for him to be asked about those statements at the forum — Out editor-in-chief Phillip Picardi specifically requested that he be asked that in a thread on Twitter — he was not.
As The Advocate’s editor-in-chief Zach Stafford revealed today, that was because Buttigieg was asked that question in a separate video interview for AM2DM by BuzzFeed News, a show that Stafford co-hosts.
“You said in an interview that you ‘can’t even read LGBT media anymore because it’s all he’s too gay, not gay enough, wrong kind of gay,’” show co-host Alex Berg said in a clip posted to Twitter today. “And Out magazine editor-in-chief Phillip Picardi tweeted this question: When LGBTQ+ journalism is dwindling despite our rights being threatened at higher rates, why come for queer media?”
“I appreciate the question and the chance to clear this up,” Buttigieg responded. “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. 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.
Picardi’s thread also included another question that was not asked in the segment nor on the forum. “How have you centered LGBTQ+ people in any of your policies thus far as a presidential candidate?” As Out wrote in our coverage about the initial comments made by Buttigieg, many of the biggest stories that criticised Butigieg’s queerness were from non-LGBTQ+ media, while the bulk of criticisms from LGBTQ+ media center on policy, or the lack thereof.
When asked in the AM2DM interview whether the criticism to his comments was unfair, Buttigieg spoke plainly: “Everything you say is on the record and every thing you say has an impact. It’s important to make sure you’re saying things the right way and that they have the right effect.”