There are the apparent solutions. However there are the indirect ones, too.
Extra self-evidently, the Massachusetts senator’s reputation makes coverage sense. Save for a 2012 comment on transgender prisoners
that she’s since walked again, Warren has an unalloyed monitor document on LGBTQ rights: From marriage equality to employment non-discrimination to lifting the federal blood ban, she’s been comprehensive
in supporting the group. (Van Ness, who recently revealed that he’s HIV positive
and depends on therapy that may be prohibitively costly, attributed his endorsement to Warren’s positions on well being care.)
Warren additionally had a sales space at RuPaul’s DragCon NYC
in September — the one Democratic presidential candidate to have one. “We had so many conversations with so many younger folks and voters, and I feel it is essential that we get these younger voters fired up and excited in regards to the subsequent presidential election,” Shea Couleé
, greatest referred to as a contestant on Season 9 of the cultural establishment “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” stated of her determination to talk at Warren’s sales space.
Having a presence at DragCon may’ve been seen as pandering. However that does not appear to be how audiences took it, probably as a result of it was bolstered by Warren’s aforementioned coverage stances. Certainly, it is important that the senator did one thing politicos usually wrestle to do: present a deeper willingness to satisfy LGBTQ voters the place they’re and on their very own phrases.
However there are arguably different, much less instantly discernible causes for Warren’s queer enchantment. For one factor, her out-of-left-field rise to political superstar, in its personal approach, has rather a lot in widespread with figures within the pantheon of norm-flouting gay icons
whom queer folks venerate.
Extra particularly, her underdog standing mirrors the experiences of different homosexual icons earlier than her. Think about how Warren was all however counted out of the race earlier this 12 months, after getting knocked over her decision to take a DNA test
after she was dogged by previous claims of Native American ancestry. As well as, her preliminary fundraising haul was lackluster
, and lots of pundits claimed that her insurance policies had been too far left for a broad enchantment, even within the Democratic Get together major.
In fact, Warren is not the one (former
) underdog in a Democratic race overstuffed with candidates. There’s Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who got here from seemingly nowhere to develop into the primary homosexual candidate to current a serious marketing campaign for the presidency. (In June, on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the Victory Fund
, a political motion committee devoted to supporting LGBTQ candidates, endorsed Buttigieg. And simply this week, the Major League Soccer player Collin Martin
, himself homosexual, did the identical.)
There’s additionally Marianne Williamson, who has her fair proportion of queer supporters.
“Her idiosyncrasies and touchy-feely rhetoric, obviously alien to mainstream politics, make her a straightforward topic for campy caricature, the type of confident underdog queer folks like to elevate,” as Slate’s Christina Cauterucci
(full disclosure: We used to work collectively on an LGBTQ podcast) places it.
However what makes Warren’s underdog-ness stand out is how central effort is to her picture.
“I got a plan
” has develop into a defining slogan of her presidential bid, underscoring her coverage chops but in addition, extra basically, that she’s ready. “Within the academics’ lounge with Warren,” Willis tweeted in August
a few widespread meme that asks, in a single iteration, the place #TeamPete would sit within the faculty cafeteria. She explained
: “I am simply prioritizing his schooling.”
It is not essentially struggling — a trope usually used to essentialize marginalized communities — that is engaging. It is what that toiling represents: an try to eke out some area in an surroundings that treats you unseriously or thinks of you as too much
You may view all this in relation to one thing else, too: fabulousness. The scholar Madison Moore
has stated that fabulousness, as an aesthetic of queer reclamation, is “about making a spectacle of oneself in a world that seeks to suppress and undervalue fabulous folks.”
Consider Warren, who would not sweat being ecstatic or a bit of ridiculous or, as Gay has described her
, dynamic. Or do not you keep in mind her enthusiastic arm-flailing throughout a Boston Pride Parade in 2018
— the place she was draped in a “voluminous, Muppet-esque rainbow feather boa
” — or her instantly meme-able running
throughout a New Hampshire city corridor this previous summer time?
Warren is daring, razzle-dazzle in comparison with most of her rivals’ political types and unapologetic.
“Her pitch has much more to do with combating,” Buttigieg has said of the senator
, not with out some snark. But this defiance of the standard expectation that ladies — older ladies, particularly — be invisible, dowdy, and unremarkable absolutely additionally contributes to Warren’s attract. And she or he shares this fabulousness with the queer individuals who adore her.
Importantly, this is not to counsel that Warren is, one way or the other, “the true homosexual candidate.”
LGBTQ voters help White Home contenders of all stripes, and have their causes for doing so. Fairly, it is to marvel at how, throughout a marketing campaign season that is illuminating so many alternative points, queer politics, too, is within the limelight — and in at-times sudden methods.