The LGBTQ community in San Francisco isn't happy with former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. They feel as though he fails to represent their community. On Friday, two protestors were booted from a fundraiser at the National LGBTQ Center for the Arts for attempting to ask him a question. When it became obvious that they were protestors, supporters began chanting "Boot-Edge-Edge! Boot-Edge-Edge!"
“I’m definitely proud of the fact that a gay candidate has made it thus far, but it’s hard to enjoy or appreciate when his stances are so middle of the road and speak to a predominantly white, upper class audience,” Celi Tamayo-Lee, one of the women who was kicked out of the event, told The Guardian.
Those who feel he's too moderate take issue with Buttigieg not supporting Medicare for All, free college tuition, his issues with the black community and his ties to billionaire donors. There are issues that don't impact the LGBTQ community as a whole but impact individuals who are also queer.
Meanwhile, other members of the LGBTQ community were outside protesting.
"Today, we are out here making a statement to Pete Buttigieg, who's running for president, that If he's coming into San Francisco, he needs to be meeting with real people," Tracey Corder told Mercury News. "He's having a high dollar fundraiser in the [National LGBTQ Center for the Arts]. He has not reached out to any of the community groups on the ground who do the work to outreach to people."
Corder brought up a valid point: the Bay area is going through a housing crisis. People have to pick between attending a $1,000 fundraiser for the former Indiana politician or use that money for rent. According to the Mercury News, tickets for the fundraising event – which were sold out – ranged in price from $250 all the way to $2,800. For $1,500 a person could get preferred seating at various events, like a town hall meeting or luncheon. For $2,800 a voter could do a meet and greet with the presidential candidate and host a fundraiser.
To get around that, Corder and her group, Queers Against Pete, hosted a "People's Coffee" event outside of Buttigieg's event in hopes that he would come out and speak with people.
According to queer filmmaker Jethro Patalinghug, Buttigieg doesn't represent the LGBTQ community.
"I think it's important to note that he's been using his gay card to propel his campaign up to this point," Patalinghug said. "But he's not representative of our community. He may be representative of part, but not all, especially the most marginalized and disenfranchised."
The filmmaker said Buttigieg fails to compare to other LGBTQ heroes, like Jose Sarria and Harvey Milk.
"Stop using your gay card because you're not representative of our community," Patalinghug said.
Jethro Patalinghug, a filmmaker and San Francisco resident with Queers Against Pete, called on @PeteButtigieg to “stop playing the gay card,” referring to Jose Sarria, Harvey Milk and the history of LGBT politics in the U.S. to explain why he’s against #PeteButtigieg pic.twitter.com/heHeC3GsR8— Dylan Bouscher (@DylanBouscher) February 14, 2020
Queers Against Pete take issue with Buttigieg for seven reasons:
1. #WallStreetPete is not the progressive candidate we need. He flip flopped on #MedicareForAll. He is undermining our movement to make healthcare a human right for all— Dylan Bouscher (@DylanBouscher) February 14, 2020
2. Pete has refused to address concerns over the 2019 police murder of Eric Logan, a Black South Bend resident
3. @PeteButtigieg opposes free universal college, student loan cancellation and universal healthcare— Dylan Bouscher (@DylanBouscher) February 14, 2020
4. #BlackLivesMatter South Bend is waiting on Pete to release tapes related to the demotion of Darryl Boykins, the first Black person to serve as Police Chief in the city
5. Pete has “more donations from billionaires than anybody else in the Presidential race. Who is he accountable to?”— Dylan Bouscher (@DylanBouscher) February 14, 2020
6. Pete has not committed to decriminalizing crossing the border.
7. As South Bend Mayor, @PeteButtigieg demolished homes of those who couldn’t afford repairs
When fundraiser attendees came out from the event, they accused the protestors inside the event of being homophobes.
From The Guardian:
“You’re homophobes, that’s what you all are, you’re homophobes!” a Buttigieg supporter yelled at the protesters after the event.
“We’re all gay!” a protester responded.
“You interrupted that question,” the Buttigieg supporter said, walking toward [Celi] Tamayo-Lee. “You’re deplorable.”
“Don’t walk up on us,” another protester said, shielding Tamayo-Lee.
“You’re walking up on us, going up on us because we’re gay men,” the supporter responded. “You’re horrible.”
The group quickly reset after that interaction, chanting, “Hey Pete! Come out, we got some things to talk about!”
“The people who disrupted that fundraiser were all queer people of color,” Pollydore said. “We’re allowed to want the gay candidate who is running to do better and be better for queer communities of color. There’s nothing homophobic about that.”