As improbable as the first black president seemed, the idea of the first gay president has felt almost impossible—considering the current sociopolitical climate we've found ourselves in—but that hasn't stopped Time from anointing the Buttigiegs as "First Family" on its latest cover.
While Buttigieg may be America's great gay hope, the South Bend mayor is increasingly under scrutiny, particularly when it comes to his "blind spots" on race:
Early in his tenure, Buttigieg fired a popular black police chief who was under FBI investigation for wiretapping white officers who had been suspected of using racist language. And while most residents say the city improved under his leadership, the gains have not been evenly distributed.
To his credit, however, Buttigieg has shown a commitment to listening, engaging, and evolving on issues:
Buttigieg created an office of Engagement and Economic Empowerment to help address the wealth gap, and issued an executive order on diversity and inclusion in response to local demands, Williams-Preston said. When local leaders asked for $3.5 million to renovate the Charles Black community center, Buttigieg came up with $4.5 million, according to Cynthia Taylor, the center’s director. “You’re gonna have to invite him in, you’re gonna have to sit him down, you’re gonna have to show him the issue,” she says. “Because he definitely will listen.”
Mayor Pete recently sat down to lunch with Rev. Al Sharpton in Harlem as part of Buttigieg's attempts at outreach to black voters
Elsewhere, the Buttigiegs are given the full political family profile treatment, with casual observances on their daily lives together, details of their romantic backstory, and anecdotes about their interpersonal idiosyncrasies—with Chasten stealing the show as usual:
...Buttigieg is musing about redeeming American credibility abroad, sipping from his coffee mug emblazoned with JFK’s face, when his husband plops onto the living-room couch, picks up the blanket next to him and throws it on the floor in mock disgust. “Do we have to have this hideous blanket?” he said. The blanket is full of dog hair. “Can we put our nice blanket there?”
Buttigieg has a long and crowded road ahead of him to 2020, with 19 other Democrats seeking the party's nomination. Who's to say if he can keep up the momentum, but the dream of a same-sex first family feels more and more real by the day.