The fact that the press and political class are even taking Buttigieg’s candidacy seriously is a historic first. An openly gay candidate has never qualified for a presidential debate, let alone become president (the jury is still out on James Buchanan, but whatever his orientation, he wasn’t leading any Pride parades in 1857).
Yet some liberal voices are now discounting Buttigieg’s sexual orientation (“still a white man”), or at least diminishing the historic discrimination gays have faced as compared with women and people of color (“most of the time gender and race are way heavier burdens than sexual orientation in the professional and political environment,” and “there was a time when it was illegal for us to marry interracially, women and POC could not even own property but a gay white man could”). For those critics, his race and gender negate the little credit they accord him for being gay.
All of this seems like an attempt to write Buttigieg off as “just another white guy,” standing in the way of more diverse candidates. It’s the Oppression Olympics at its worst: In a battle to prove that one community is more discriminated against than another, we tear each other apart rather than unite in common cause.