Craig Axford, may I suggest, however difficult, that you re-read Jeff’s article. And here’s why: Jeff is not suggesting that Buttigieg fit into any particular mold. The core issue Jeff is address is this: do American LGBTQ voters want someone link Buttigieg to represent them, when he “appears” to be challenged or ashamed of being gay.

Of course, for Buttigieg, “playing down the gay” may best serve him in his campaign, but how does that serve LGBTQ people in the long run? Does it elevate who we are? Will it garner more support for our uniqueness; our creative diversity? Or, is the best representation of being gay in power in America mean “fitting in just like everyone else?”

The big challenge we all face when reading something like Jeff’s article, is that we immediately want to defend a point of contention that is often our own issue, and usually has little to do with the author’s point of view. I would challenge you then, for the sake of discussion, to find what is “right” about this article. And if not “right”, is that anything that represents a common ground for you?

In so doing, we (meaning you, me, Jeff, and anyone else with the courage to write something that will cause discomfort) seek to evolve and find a way forward through dialogue — which is NOT the same as saying you agree with the original message. But this rhetoric of, “so-called liberals forcing their own stereotypes down our throats” encourages only silence at best, or a bitchy, argumentative response at worst. Either result ends in stalemate and nothing changes.

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