Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has suspended his campaign for the democratic nomination for president in 2020.
The news came as something of a surprise to many, given Buttigieg’s strong start to the primary season in Iowa. But his campaign quickly faded as Democrats from the more diverse states of Nevada and South Carolina went to the polls.
Speaking to supporters in his home town, Buttigieg issued a call for unity.
Today is a moment of truth ... the truth is that the path has narrowed to a close for our candidacy if not for our cause.
We must recognise that at this point in the race, the best way to keep faith with those goals and ideals is to step aside and help bring our party and country together.
Our goal has always been to unify Americans to help defeat Donald Trump and to win the era for our values.
Butigieg’s campaign was historic because he was the first openly gay man to become a contender for the Democratic nomination. Throughout the contest he appeared publicly with his husband Chasten and discussed his sexuality on the debate stage frequently.
But LGBTQ+ people were by no means united behind Buttigieg’s candidacy.
Gay men in particular often struggled to reconcile the mayor’s sexuality with political positions they didn’t agree with. Some saw him as overly palatable and pedestrian.
Following the news that the first openly LGBTQ+ candidate to win a Democratic primary or caucus was dropping out, reactions were varied on queer Twitter.
Lots of LGBTQ+ people congratulated Buttigieg on his historic campaign.
… even if they didn’t support him.
It often seemed like there wasn’t a lot of love for Mayor Pete online, particularly on "Gay Twitter". But the reaction to the conclusion of Buttigieg's 2020 campaign hints that his run meant a lot to many LGBTQ+ people, even if they didn't support him.