(EDGE) Conservative news sites are jumping on the bandwagon to report on how Chasten Glezman Buttigieg's brother Rhyan is saying that Chasten exaggerated his youthful hardships - and suggesting that the campaign of Chasten's husband, Pete Buttigieg, amounts to little more than promoting Chasten's claims to drum up sympathy and support.
An in-depth story in the Washignton Post about Chasten Glezman recently brought to light painful episodes from Chasten's past, including a period of homelessness after Chasten felt he could no longer live in his parents' house.
As reported at EDGE, Chasten opened up to the Post about his early life and how his family's religious convictions helped to create barriers between himself and his parents and brothers.
Not unlike his husband Pete did in one his own interviews, Chasten described to the Post a time when he was "itching and clawing to try to change whatever brain chemistry was making me the way I was." Like Pete, Chasten eventually came to terms with the unchangeable fact of who he is and began to live authentically — though in high school he had to brave harassment and bullying. One friend, he recalled, told him he should reconsider his sexuality, the profile reported. "Like it was a choice," Chasten recounted.
His family's reaction was likewise less than supportive, the profile indicated; Chasten recalled his mother in tears, wondering whether he was "sick." ("I think she meant, like, did I have AIDS?" he said.) His brothers were hostile to the idea of having a gay sibling. Eventually, "I felt like I just could not be there.
"So I left."
Eventually, the profile noted, Chasten and his parents reconciled, but it was a different story between Chasten and his brothers, the eldest of who, Rhyan Glezman, is now a pastor.
"I want the best for him," Rhyan Glezman told the Post, before resorting to the standard trope of Christians for whom gays seem to have no place: "I just don't support the gay lifestyle."
For Chasten, that came to include falling in love and getting married — just like countless heterosexuals do, all without it being derisively termed a "lifestyle" or a "choice."
But now Rhyan Glezman has made claims in the media that his brother's comments — and, by extension, the Buttigieg campaign — have smeared Chasten's family unfairly.
In an interview with right-wing publication the Washington Examiner, Rhyan Glezman reportedly took issue with the Post's characterization of Chasten having grown up working class, saying, "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."
Rhyan Glezman went on to suggest that Buttigieg's campaign was built on little more than Chasten's supposedly mischaracterized life story. Rhyan Glezman also blasted Buttigieg as having "extreme views on abortion" and wanting to "change the makeup of the Supreme Court" - critiques that those on the left have similarly leveled at President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
All the same, "To me that's very sad," Rhyan Glezman told the conservative paper. "If that's all you have to stand on, you're not fit to be president of the United States."
Rhyan Glezman also disputed the Post's characterization that the brothers were not close, telling the Examiner that he loves his brother and that his twenty-first birthday gift to Chasten proves it: He took his younger brother to an amusement park to celebrate the occasion. Of their brotherly bond, Rhyan Glezman declared, "Just because we have a disagreement doesn't change that."
Rhyan Glezman said that no one in Chasten's family told him that he had to leave. For his part, Chasten did not say anyone had made such an ultimatum; he simply described his own emotional state, and said he felt he had to go of his own volition. Rhyan Glezman's comments seemed to align with Chasten's in this regard; said Rhyan Glezman, "He went away... But there was noting on the family end that said he had to leave."
The Examiner article said that Rhyan Glezman spoke to the publication from his church, which is located in Clio, Michigan.
UK newspaper the Daily Mail also reported on Rhyan Glezman's remarks, but noted that Chasten's other brother, Dustin, has told the media that, with regard to Chasten being gay, the family "never got over it."
The Daily Mail also noted that Chasten has described his current relationship with his parents in glowing terms, and said that they are Pete Buttigieg's "biggest fans."