LGBTQ. NATION - A homophobic troll left an insulting comment on a photo of Chasten Buttigieg and his family, and Chasten didn’t let him get away with it.
A few days ago, Chasten posted a photo with his husband and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and their twin babies at the White House.
“2021 brought with it many challenges, but it also gave us a lot to be grateful for,” Chasten wrote. “#HappyNewYear, friends. Here’s to a peaceful and joyful 2022!”
Most commenters online loved the picture of the happy family. But some didn’t, and one in particular left a nasty comment.
In an Instagram story, Chasten called out that commenter, an independent contractor for a real estate company named Andre Kravchenko. Chasten posted a censored screenshot of Kravchenko’s hateful comment, which said, “Someone actually gave these [censored] kids??? Holy [censored].”
Chasten then wrote, “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.”
Buttigieg supporters then left comments on posts by American Homes 4 Rent calling them out, which prompted the company to issue a statement emphasizing its commitment to diversity and inclusion and clarifying that despite what it said on Kravchenko’s LinkedIn profile, he has not worked for the company for over five years.
Kravchenko was actually employed by Seattle company Skyline Properties, who at first issued a statement that Chasten did not approve of.
A comment left by Skyline Vice President Scott Hotes said, “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 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 for letting me know.”
Chasten posted the comment and said, “This defensive response tells us exactly how that ‘conversation’ is going to go.”
Since then, however, the Skyline Instagram account has released a more official statement, which Chasten also posted to his story. It said Kravchenko has been fired and that the company has a zero tolerance policy for hate speech.
“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 statement said.
“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.”
(Molly Sprayregen is a queer writer. Her work can be found in Out Magazine, Them, Into Magazine, The Associated Press, LGBTQ Nation, Roxane Gay's Gay Magazine, and more. More info at MollySpray.com.)