Last night, Pete Buttigieg announced that he was pulling out of the race for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, marking the end of a historic and groundbreaking political campaign.
His speech in South Bend, Indiana marked the end of an almost year-long campaign that saw him top polls and win the Iowa caucus. But that success did not come without a price. Buttigieg faced countless examples of homophobia throughout his campaign from right-wing and religious commentators.
The attacks were wide-ranging and disturbing in tone: one preacher suggested he was “deserving of death” because of his sexuality. Another suggested he would die young from AIDS-related complications because he is gay.
Buttigieg’s campaign for the presidency proved that the world is in flux on gay rights – his surprising success will go down in history as a first for an LGBT+ candidate. But it also proved that homophobia is alive and kicking, and there are a great many people out there who see the possibility of a gay candidate taking the Oval Office as a threat.
Here, we delve into six examples of the homophobia Pete Buttigieg faced throughout his campaign.