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It's usually bad form to begin writing a piece by telling the reader why you're writing about something, or the feelings you have approaching that subject, or that thing your mom used to say about something related to that subject, because if that's what people wanted to read, they'd be reading your autobiography. We're going to do it anyway, though, because we read the Washington Post profile and interview of Chasten Buttigieg a few weeks back, about how he was rejected by his family, experienced homelessness, and now, at the ripe old age of 29, it's at least theoretically possible he could end up being America's first First Gentleman, and also America's first gay presidential spouse. And then, today, we read in the Washington Examiner that his older brother, Rhyan Glezman, a country church preacher in Michigan, is freely telling the media that he's feeling downright TRIGGERED by the Post's account of his family's reaction to Chasten coming out, because it makes them look like bigots, when in reality he loves Chasten. He just doesn't accept Chasten's "lifestyle" and thinks he's going to hell probably, but he loves him. (For the record, it sounds like Chasten's mom and dad have come around. Good for them!)

So, the personal part. This is not our family, and we have zero insight into the interpersonal relationships in the Glezman family, how they really get along, or what wounds might exist there. And honestly, we don't want to know, and wouldn't write about it, except that Chasten's 34-year-old brother Rhyan has inserted himself into this discussion by talking to the right-wing media. (Bad move, bro!) But we're adding our $.02 because we are a gay man, 10 years older than Chasten, who also experienced rejection from a religious family (or at least a family that likes others to think they are just so devout), and who's been on the receiving end of more "love" than we could ever stomach from people who "want the best for us," but simply "don't agree" with our "lifestyle." OH YEAH ALSO OH BY THE WAY they think we're going to hell and DID WE MENTION THE PART ABOUT how when it really counts, they'll cast their votes for people who would seek to hurt us in a New York fucking minute.

(Three guesses who voted for Donald Trump, and who told the Washington Examiner he wouldn't support Pete Buttigieg for president. No, GUESS!)

Point is, Chasten, if you read our expert analysis of your family and we get bits of it wrong, that's just because we're projecting our fucked up experience onto your fucked up experience. Hooray for therapists everywhere!


Rhyan Glezman would like you to know that his brother Chasten is a big liar:

[R]ather than rejecting his brother Chasten, a would-be "first gentleman," Glezman, who has run the Clio Community Church for the past two years, said his family has been loving and supportive throughout.

"A mayor from a small city and his husband, a child who grew up with nothing and his parents kicked him out … it makes a perfect political story for the campaign," he said in an interview with the Washington Examiner at his church in Clio. "To me that's very sad. If that's all you have to stand on, you're not fit to be president of the United States."

Cool. Let's find out what "love and support" means when this purported man of God says it. Surprise, it's as two-faced as we're accustomed to hearing from conservative Christians, who tend to be pretty bad at "love and support":

[The Post profile's] reference to Glezman's opposition to gay marriage — based he says on a Biblical interpretation of what the institution means — misrepresented complicated family relationships, he said. What particularly stung, he added, was a line suggesting he or his other brother Dustin had effectively disowned Chasten by saying: "No brother of mine … "

What, is Rhyan saying that didn't happen? That Chasten made up hearing one of his brothers say that when he came out to his family? Or is Rhyan just mad Chasten decided to tell a reporter about it?

Visibly pained, Glezman said: "Do I love him? Absolutely. He is my brother." He said, "You can't change that. Just because we have a disagreement doesn't change that."

Oh no, he's "visibly pained" about it! This guy thinks his brother's marriage, indeed, his life, is an abomination in the eyes of God, and literally told the Washington Post, "I just don't support the gay lifestyle," and yet he is "visibly pained" right now. Why would anybody think he doesn't "love" his brother?

This is where we must cut in to point out that love is an action, not a feeling. Parents who tell their children they "unconditionally" love them, but that they don't support their "lifestyles," or who make their gay children feel unwelcome in their homes, are neither parenting nor are they loving their children. We, the gay kids of the world, honestly do not give a fuck if our families "unconditionally" love us, because all too many of us have learned that those statements are too often meaningless. And that counts for older brothers too.

Let's be clear about another thing: Saying you disagree with somebody's gay "lifestyle" is saying you don't agree with their "life." The scientific, medical and mental health communities have told us for decades now that being gay is not a choice or a lifestyle, akin to being super-obsessed with race cars, or choosing to follow around long-haired pretty boy musicians in bands and have reefer sexes with them. In that case, it's perfectly valid to say, "I love you, but I sure wish you didn't do RACE CAR REEFER-BONING."

Being gay is who you are. It's certainly not everything about a person, but it's a big something! It's a person's first love, it's realizing you're different, it's sometimes grappling with the fact that your church is saying that who you are is inherently evil and wrong. It's a person's marriage. "Do I love him? Absolutely. He is my brother." "I just don't agree with the gay lifestyle."

Fuck you.

We can't speak for Chasten Buttigieg, but we do speak for ourselves and millions of other LGBT people when we say we'd rather deal with a hundred Fred Phelps figures than just one "loving Christian" who "hates the sin, but loves the sinner." The former is obnoxious, wears his hate on his sleeve, and can be dealt with as such. The latter creeps into your life and cuts you down with a thousand tiny comments, glances, and insinuations that you are lesser than they are, and often that you are not worthy of their God. But don't worry, you're always invited to their dinner table! Now let's join hands and say grace! (To the gay-hatin' God!)

Anyway, as further proof of his love for the brother whose "lifestyle" he "disagrees" with, Rhyan Glezman offers that he took Chasten to an amusement park on the occasion of Chasten's 21st birthday (eight years ago), that he hugged Chasten at the funeral for their grandmother last year, and that he even deigned to attend a baseball game one time with Chasten and his homosexual lifestyle lover, we mean husband, Pete Buttigieg. Jesus may have healed the sick and fed the hungry, but please remember that Pastor Rhyan Glezman ate funnel cakes with fags.

Glezman also says his brother is lying about how his family rejection led to him experiencing homelessness:

"He went away," is how Glezman put it. "He was struggling for a time. But there was nothing on the family end that said he had to leave."

No, we guess it was just that feeling Chasten got when he heard one of his brothers say, "No brother of mine." As Chasten told the Post:

"I felt like I just could not be there," he says. "So, I left."

Been there.

As Chasten told the Post, during that time he couch-surfed, and sometimes he slept in his car. Because he didn't feel welcome at home. And it was his mom who finally asked him to come back, and things got better after that.

But nobody got up in Chasten's face and said "IN THE NAME OF GOD, I DISOWN YOU!" so we guess Rhyan thinks it doesn't count, or that it's unfair of Chasten to tell the news media that story.

Let's see, what else is Glezman bitching about? Oh yes, he feels triggered by the Post's account of the Glezman family's socioeconomic status. For the record, here is what the Post said:

His father, Terry Glezman, had grown up poor — so poor that in high school he wore his letterman jacket every day to hide his unwashed clothes. Sherri Pelon fell for him anyway. She was 22 when Chasten, her third son, was born.

For most of his childhood, the Glezmans made a living and not much more. Sherri worked as a nursing assistant. Terry started a landscaping business. There was mowing in the summer, snow plowing in the winter.

So, dad grew up very poor, they struggled, and they survived. That is literally everything the Post says about it. But Rhyan is SO MAD:

"The story makes it look as if he came from nothing, a poor family," he said. "Chasten had everything, from cellphones paid for, car insurance paid for."

OK, dude, we get it. The family didn't come from much, but they had enough for a biannual pilgrimage to the Olive Garden and Chasten had a cell phone. Is that what the Post should have said?

The Washington Examiner interview with Glezman says he got death threats and hateful messages after the Post profile on Chasten came out. That is fucked up and wrong, and if he's telling the truth, it pisses us off. Liberals should not act like Fox News viewers when they read about somebody they disagree with in the newspaper.

However, Glezman takes another lesson from this, a political lesson, and it's the final reason we went ahead and decided to write about this:

It was all part of a public discourse, Glezman believes, that frequently writes off principled Christians as bigots. "I believe for me, as a Christian, we're the people being shunned, people being silenced, and a lot of the liberal side of things are becoming the bigots to Christianity and faith," he said. "They are becoming the intolerant side."

GET. THE. FUCK. OVER. YOURSELVES. CONSERVATIVE. CHRISTIAN. BIGOTS. GOD. DAMMIT.

You're not a fucking "principled Christian," you're a person who clings to his bigotry, which is based on a pretty thin dumbfuck understanding of scripture, and you're doing this in the face of the life experience of having a gay brother that should have taught you better by now! And you're doing it in the right-wing media, because your gay brother-in-law is running for president.

But fucking hell, it is not "intolerant" to refuse to abide somebody else's INTOLERANCE of your very existence! Nobody is coming to this dude's backwoods fundamentalist church or any other and slapping the crosses out of the pastor's mouth or saying the parishioners can't believe whatever hateful shit they want. (And we should note that it's only conservative Christians who whine about this. Strangely, regular Christians who don't seem to think gay-bashing is an essential component of their faith never seem to have these complaints about being "shunned" or "silenced." Sounds like a personal problem, on the conservatives' part.)

And yes, it's true that as society has become more educated on LGBT issues, people frown more and more upon those who cling to hateful and discredited beliefs. We're sorry. All those who feel "shunned" by the mean gays and liberals are free to join us over here in the light where we do unto others as we'd want them to do unto us, which Jesus talked about a fuckload more than he talked about homosexuality. (NARRATOR: He didn't have a word to say about homosexuality.)

Well, this has been fun, hasn't it! Now, having said our piece, the Glezman brothers are free to go back to fighting amongst themselves or not talking to each other, or whatever they do, and Wonkette will stay the fuck out of it.

You know, unless the dick brother keeps yapping at the conservative media. Then we might have more to say.

For now, though, it is your OPEN THREAD.

[Washington Post / Washngton Examiner]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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