The issue of LGBTQ rights in the election campaign is just as tricky. Democrat strategists worry about identity politics on the left, fracturing electability chances. But they also provide a galvanizing focus against an administration that attacks LGBTQ rights, and trans people in particular. Buttigieg, meanwhile, seems determined to traverse labels and divides—even if he has yet to show how he can attract black voters, whose support he needs.
Buttigieg has been praised for making history, praised (alongside his charismatic, witty husband Chasten) for being not just public about his relationship but vocal too. Surely they both deserve credit for how they have done this. Buttigieg speaks not just about his love for Chasten, their commitment together, but also his sexuality and what it means to him; his own journey to openness and self-acceptance.