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Chasten Buttigieg and Book Reviewer Battle It Out in War of Words

"Leave my kids out of it," Buttigieg tells queer writer Yasmin Nair

Jason A. Michael

It’s a war of words between Chasten Buttigieg and a queer writer who takes issue with his seemingly carefully curated life. We’re talking about "Current Affairs" writer Yasmin Nair’s scathing review of Buttigieg’s new book.

In "I Have Something to Tell You – For Young Adults," an updated version of his 2020 memoir, Buttigieg, says Nair, portrays a picture-perfect life and basically serves up a testimonial of the political career of his husband, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. The two became official Michigan residents last year when they bought a home near Traverse City, where Chasten grew up.

“Given their talent for curation, it’s hard not to wonder if the Buttigieges didn’t also choose their children as carefully as Melania Trump chose her outfits,” Nair wrote. “This doesn’t mean that the pair don’t love their incredibly adorable children, but given that even Chasten looks like he was chosen from a catalog of ‘Good Gay Men,’ it’s safe to say that even the most seemingly personal details of Pete’s life are carefully chosen.”

Chasten Buttigieg was not pleased. 

“Not sure how this is a review of my book,” Buttigieg responded. “You don’t like it, fine. I’m ok with criticism. Leave my kids out of it.”

But, of course, Nair did not leave out the kids. Instead, she made them the centerpiece of her argument, highlighting the fact that they were biracial and alleging they were born to a surrogate, which is not true. The Buttigieges adopted their twins.

The exchange between Nair and Buttigieg has since garnered the typical wagon circling on X, with much of the commentary on Nair's tweets devolving into name-calling. Nair claims some have even written the writer to tell her to kill herself. So far, she's standing strong in her defense of the original post, promising a follow-up to the review and pledging to take the internet trolls to task. 

“Hey, all’s fair in hate and hate, yes?” Nair posted. “I mean, why not incite crowds on the internet to yell at a queer woman and tell her to kill herself AND go on speaking tours where you talk about the vulnerability of young queers to suicide? WHERE IS THE HARM.”

Later, she tweeted, "This whole Buttigieg episode has been such a relief, in all honesty. We queer radicals have been trying to tell the straight left how conservative the gay mainstream can be, and how vicious — and I've garnered all the proof I need, just in the last couple of weeks."

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