Metro Weekly

Chasten Buttigieg calls out anti-gay troll, who subsequently gets fired

Transportation Secretary's husband claps back at companies affiliated with man who called the couple an anti-gay slur.

chasten buttigieg, pete buttigieg
The Buttigieg family at the White House – Photo: Chasten Buttigieg, via Instagram

Chasten Buttigieg, the outspoken husband of Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, clapped back at a troll spewing anti-gay comments about the couple’s family, leading to repercussions for the heckler.

Earlier this week, Chasten Buttigieg posted a photo to his Instagram account of him and his husband with their twin babies at the White House.

“2021 brought with it many challenges, but it also gave us a lot to be grateful for,” he wrote on the post. “#HappyNewYear, friends. Here’s to a peaceful and joyful 2022!”

While most commenters liked the picture of the happy family, some others posted rude comments, including one named Andre Kravchenko, who wrote: “Someone gave these queers kids?? Holy [expletive].”

Buttigieg censored the words when he reposed the comment to his Instagram Stories, but called out Kravchenko, who claimed to work for a real estate company.

“In the year 2022, you’d think these people would be wise enough to post their homophobia from an alt account, not one easily connected to their job. Rather embarrassing for @americanhomes4rent, a company that claims to be an equal housing provider and one that’s ‘building a culture of inclusion and belonging.’ I worry for your tenants,” he wrote.

Buttigieg supporters then left comments on posts by American Homes 4 Rent criticizing the company, which caved to public pressure and issued a statement touting its commitment to diversity and inclusion. The company also clarified that, despite what it said on Kravchenko’s LinkedIn profile, he had not worked for the company for over five years.

Online activists soon discovered that Kravchenko was employed as an independent contractor by Seattle-based company Skyline Properties and began commenting on the company’s social media posts, criticizing Kravchenko’s homophobic slur.

Scott Hotes, the vice president of Skyline Properties, responded angrily, writing: “To all who are posting, Skyline could not possibly know what 1,200 of our independent contractors could be doing at any given moment. There is no way on gods (sic)  green earth that you, me air (sic) anyone else could know in advance what someone might think or post. Now that I am aware of the post I will have a conversation with the broker. Thank our (sic) for letting me know.”

Chasten Buttigieg took a screenshot of the post, posted it to his Instagram Stories, and replied: “This defensive response tells us exactly how that ‘conversation’ is going to go.”

Related: Chasten and Pete Buttigieg announce birth of twins — and Christian conservatives are furious

Due to the criticism it received for its first post, Skyline later released an official statement on their Instagran account apologizing for their response to the situation, calling Kravchenko’s comments “hurtful and hateful.”

“After spending time to properly review the comments made by this individual, we have found that this was not some fluke, mistake, or hacking situation, and have promptly FIRED him from Skyline Properties,” the company’s statement read.

“That being said, we would like to sincerely apologize to the Buttigieg family and the LGBTQ+ community for any harm that came from the bigotry of this individual. We do not tolerate ANY hate speech of any kind, nor do we have a place for ANY brokers who participate in such hateful behaviors. We must be as clear as possible when we say we have zero tolerance towards this behavior.

“Skyline Properties prides itself on serving ALL people of all demographics in buying & selling real estate for over 32 years. We are a Real Estate Company built on serving others with nothing less than professionalism & acceptance. We will continue striving towards this goal. Thank you for notifying us of this situation and your patience while we navigated through it,” the post concluded.

While many Instagram users praised the company’s statement and decision to stop working with Kravchenko, some others were critical of Hotes’ earlier post.

“This is the perfect response to something like this. Thank you,” wrote one Instagram user, referring to the second response.

“Hmm, the previous comments were so defensive and rude. Methinks $$$$$$ speaks the loudest. When it affects your bottom line, of course you’re going to act. But it took that to make it happen. So I’m suspicious of your sincerity,” wrote another commenter. “I would suggest your start having diversity training for your brokers.”

“Do you require your independent contractors to agree in advance to heed a reasonable code of conduct?” asked a third.

A few other Instagram users were critical of Buttigieg and the online activists who for targeting Kravchenko, alluding to the idea of “cancel culture” for making rude or off-color remarks or questioning whether the response to the comments was overblown. 

“Some guys (sic) family is gonna get evicted from their home all because some rich fairy got his feelings hurt,” wrote one user, adding: “you people are vile.”

See also:

Six Flags Mexico lifts ban on “affectionate behavior” after protesters hold same-sex “kissathon”

Oklahoma might allow parents to ban books with LGBTQ or “sexual” content from libraries

UFC fighter Sean Strickland says having a gay son would mean he’d “failed as a man”

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