Trust… but Verify!

***Edit: And….it was all a scam!***

We should accord accusers and survivors of rape or sexual assault the benefit of the doubt — especially male survivors, given the stigma associated with men being sexually victimized.

That does not mean they should be believed despite the existence of contradictory or contravening evidence or facts.

Mr. Kelly offers no facts or evidence in his Medium story, beyond his initial claim. I look forward to reviewing his claim when more evidence is provided.

Personally, I would want to know if Buttigieg was even in Michigan in the month of February and, if so, if it was even possible for his and Mr. Kelly’s paths to cross…

Until then, let’s acknowledge that Kelly’s charge against Pete Buttigieg plays into very old and pernicious stereotypes that homosexuals are sexual predators.

That, plus Mr. Kelly’s conservative affiliations uncovered on social media, should encourage ALL of us — but especially those in the media — to proceed with extreme caution as they report on and evaluate Mr. Kelly’s claim.

I’ve written more about the politics of Buttigieg’s sexuality here:

Michael J. Murphy, MA, PhD, is Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Illinois. He is the author of many book chapters, and encyclopedia and journal articles. Most recently he edited Living Out Loud: An Introduction to LGBTQ History, Society, and Culture (Routledge, 2019). He lives in St. Louis with his husband.

Professional homosexual. Professor. Writer. Scholar. Activist. Husband.

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