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23 Apr, 2021 18:41

‘It’s like he never met a gay person’: Andrew Yang ridiculed for ‘outdated’ comments at NYC mayoral LGBT endorsement event

‘It’s like he never met a gay person’: Andrew Yang ridiculed for ‘outdated’ comments at NYC mayoral LGBT endorsement event

Former presidential hopeful and current New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang has come under fire for making comments during a prominent Democratic LGBTQ+ forum that have been criticized as patronizing and “cringeworthy”.

At an endorsement-screening interview on Wednesday for the Stonewall Democrats of NYC (SDNYC), the city’s biggest Democratic LGBTQ+ political club, Yang clumsily attempted to explain his understanding of gay culture and concerns by making repeated references to visiting gay bars and having LGBT people on his staff.

“I genuinely love you and your community. You’re so human and beautiful. You make New York City special,” Yang said, according to Politico. He added that gay people were the party’s “secret weapon” who should help them “win everything.”

Club president Rose Christ told Politico that Yang “came across like he was a tourist in New York” who just wanted to visit a gay bar. Christ told the New York Times that Yang’s whole tone was “outdated.”

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“He kept calling us ‘Your community,’ like we were aliens,” another club member told the Times. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the SDNYC opted to endorse rival candidate Scott Stringer on Thursday instead.

During the meeting, Yang recounted asking one of his campaign managers, who is gay, whether he was “liked” by the LGBTQ+ community. Christ said this was a difficult question to ask of a group that does not “vote as a monolith”.

Making matters worse, Yang apparently failed to address a host of actual issues important to LGBT New Yorkers, including homelessness, inequities in access to health care and transgender rights.

The mayoral hopeful was quickly torched on social media, where he was slammed as out of touch, particularly for a longtime resident of the city.

Filmmaker Harris Doran, a SDNYC member who attended the meeting, begged people not to vote for Yang, branding him an  “inexperienced, ill-informed joke.”

“It was like he never met a gay person in his life, even though he kept reminding us people on his staff were gay,” Doran told NBC news. He also posted a partial recording of the meeting – describing it as “cringeworthy” – on Twitter.

Another gay commenter responded on Twitter, saying he didn’t enjoy being treated like a “character from Will & Grace” – a television sitcom from a decade ago. 

There were a few who didn’t find Yang’s appearance problematic, however. One person said Yang was simply reaching out to the community and questioned why anyone would “reject him as an ally?”

Another person felt Yang was misunderstood and noted that he “seemed to acknowledge he has work to do in order to gain the community's respect and trust.”

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