In the Alabama county I lived in, I was one of only 5,658 persons who voted for Barack Obama for president in 2008. When Obama won the election, I was ecstatic, believing the country was finally on the correct path to the future – one of equality and justice. At the time I could only imagine the depth of feeling and hope generated in communities of color who had finally seen a black man given the mantle of this country’s most powerful office, accomplishing something many said could never happen.
Sadly, it doesn’t seem as if many things have changed for the better for those communities, prejudice and racism is so deeply ingrained in some parts of our populous. It wasn’t until many years later and the murder of George Floyd by a group of police officers that the country finally seemed ready to lumber slightly to the left in this regard. Now even that small impetus seems to have petered out.
When I read an article on CNN, Democrats who could replace Biden, that included openly gay Transportation Secretary, Mayor Pete in a top spot of possibles, the wonder and hope I felt must have been akin to that felt by my friends of color when Obama’s name was mentioned in relation to the same office prior to 2008. Never in my whole life had I ever imagined there was even a possibility of the US electing a gay man as president. Not even when Mayor Pete ran for the Democratic nomination last time around, because I never seriously considered he could win, even though we’ve had three openly LGBT governors, and six other countries have openly gay or lesbian leaders.
Now a whole new world of future potentialities has crested my vision. It won’t just be the fabulous parties being thrown at the White House, the trendy and debonair outfits worn by both the president and the first husband, the inspired White House Christmas decorating taking dernier-cri to a whole new level of extraordinaire… let me pause there and apologize - those stereotypes aren’t worth the binary space of the ones and zeros it took to display them. I’m a gay man and I have no style, artistry, or sense of decorating or fashion. If Mayor Pete or his husband does, well that is beside the point.
The point is, as the CNN article says of Cabinet Secretary Buttigieg, “[he is] the most naturally talented candidate in the 2024 field…”
A gay president? Why not.