Democratic primary candidate Pete Buttigieg made history as the first out gay man and LGBTQ person to win the Iowa caucus. That also makes him the first to get delegates to the national convention, where the official candidate will be chosen.
That moment was felt all over the nation by LGBTQ people who have seen their rights and acceptance grow dramatically over the last couple of decades. It wasn’t until 1987 that homosexuality wasn’t considered a mental illness; now a gay person could potentially be elected president.
Buttigieg’s win, however, was tiny. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) trailed Buttigieg by 0.1%. The total earned Buttigieg two extra delegates than Sanders – 564 to 562.
Sanders ignored the historic moment and declared a “very strong victory” during a speech in New Hampshire. His supporters have become notorious for viciously attacking other candidates and bullying their supporters on social media, a phenomenon Sanders has done little to tamp down or denounce.
And while LGBTQ people were celebrating the weight of the slim victory, several Sanders supporters took the opportunity to downplay the moment, insult Buttigieg, and denigrate people who – despite their choice of candidate – were moved by the experience. Many of the insults were lobbed by straight people.
As a Gay Man, seeing a Gay Man win Iowa, in a Presidential election is monumental, I know many will miss the significance of this moment but millions of LGBTQ people are seeing this as historic in many ways.
Little LGBT adolescents seeing history
Congratulations Pete Buttigieg!
— 👑 Black Professor 👑 (@Wonderbitch82) February 5, 2020
Pete’s rise *is* remarkable. I know some of you don’t care or don’t think it counts, but history will see it as a rather monumental step forward for the perception of how far an openly gay man can connect on a national level. You don’t have to vote for him to acknowledge that.
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) February 4, 2020
Pete Buttigieg just made history by being the first openly gay presidential candidate to win a state in a party's primary. I couldn't be more proud.
— Youssef (@Vijoelante) February 7, 2020
Regardless of how the final 38% plays out, Pete Buttigieg, an openly Gay man, has led the field in the Iowa Caucus.
What this means for the thousands of LGBTQ Americans watching at home tonight cannot, and should not, be understated.
LGBTQ History was made tonight. With Pride. pic.twitter.com/IU9hqFFG1D
— Tom Canham (@tcanham459) February 4, 2020
Or they could have congratulated Pete Buttigieg on becaming the first openly gay candidate in American history to win a presidential primary.
— scoutprime (@scoutprime) February 7, 2020
Pete has nothing to offer the LGBTQ+ community.
— That Gonzalez (@LatinoInNevada) February 7, 2020
Why can’t you name a single democrat who has been more PRO gay rights than Bernie at any given time in history?
Bernie was defending gay rights before Buttigieg was even born.
Not a single democrat who has been more pro 🏳️🌈 than #BernieSanders
— Independent Press Journal (@IndyPressLive) February 1, 2020
This is sickening. Two males married to each other and hugging. Gay identity is from the powerful private interests. Butt's moderate approach is meant to subvert Bernie.https://t.co/mqPez51OO5
— David Wemhoff (@DavidWemhoff) February 6, 2020
Whether you like him or not, Pete Buttigieg has made history as the first openly gay man to win the Iowa Caucus.
— The General (@generalunite) February 7, 2020