Buttigieg: 'I can't even read the LGBT media anymore'

During an interview with SiriusXM's Clay Cane, the 2020 candidate said he wants to avoid media that speculates whether he's the "wrong kind of gay."
Image: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during the 2019 Presidential Galivants Ferry Stump Meeting in Galivants Ferry
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during the 2019 Presidential Galivants Ferry Stump Meeting in Galivants Ferry, S.C. on Sept. 16, 2019.Randall Hill / Reuters
By Brooke Sopelsa

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg said he’s steering clear of LGBTQ media these days.

During a radio interview on Wednesday, SiriusXM host Clay Cane of “The Clay Cane Show” asked Buttigieg, who would be the first openly gay president if elected, about criticisms in “LGBT circles” that “more masculine-presenting men have more access,” posing the question, “How different would it be if you were quote unquote ‘more effeminate?’”

“It’s tough for me to know, right, because I just am what I am, and you know, there’s going to be a lot of that,” Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, responded. “That’s why I can’t even read the LGBT media anymore, because it’s all, ‘he's too gay,’ ‘not gay enough,’ ‘wrong kind of gay.’”

The Morning Rundown

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

“All I know is life became a lot easier when I just started allowing myself to be myself, and I’ll let other people write up whether I’m ‘too this’ or ‘too that,’” he continued.

Buttigieg’s comments received swift criticism from those working in LGBTQ media, a sector of the industry that has been struggling recently, with at least two LGBTQ news sites closing this past year and others downsizing their staff.

“When LGBTQ+ journalism is dwindling despite our rights being threatened at higher rates, why come for queer media?” Phillip Picardi, editor-in-chief of Out magazine, wrote on Twitter in response to Buttigieg’s remarks.

Zach Stafford, editor-in-chief of the LGBTQ news outlet The Advocate, pointed out that articles that notably questioned whether Buttigieg is “bad for gays” or “gay enough” were not even published in LGBTQ media outlets.

Buttigieg will be joining other Democratic presidential candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, on Friday for an LGBTQ Presidential Forum in Iowa, where issues important to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community will be front and center.

Follow NBC Out on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram