For six years, Chelsea resident Michael Crawford worked for Freedom To Marry, the campaign to make gay marriage legal nationwide. It passed in 2015, but Crawford himself remained single.
“I had been looking, but not looking,” Crawford, now the culture director at Move.org, told The Post of his love life. “I kind of lost hope.”
But Crawford changed his mind after openly gay Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, 37, and his school-teacher husband Chasten, 30, burst onto the national scene this year.
“After reading about Mayor Pete and Chasten, I realized that it’s finally time for me. They are the most visible gay couple out there, and they’re adorable. I heard they met on [dating app] Hinge so I downloaded it,” said Crawford, who is in his late 40s and became a Hinge member in late June.
He’s not the only gay man who has recently signed up after being charmed by the Buttigiegs’ fairy tale.
According to Hinge — an app that searches users’ Facebook connections to match them with friends of friends — there has been a 30 percent increase in profiles created by gay men since April 1. In late March, Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., told CNN’s Van Jones in an interview that he met his husband on the dating app.
Ryan Andaluz signed up for Hinge in April after reading Buttigieg’s autobiography.
“It’s like a movie romance,” the 41-year-old said of the politician’s romance. “They talk about their first date and eating Scotch eggs at a pub.
“Some of us want to go out on a proper date. Some of us are old-school,” he added.
Crawford agreed: “It’s about time that we can have a [gay] couple like Mayor Pete and Chasten who are refreshingly boring.”
Andaluz, the managing director of a cyber-security firm in Boston, figured joining Hinge might put him in proximity to other men who also swooned over the Mayor Pete-and-Chasten love story.
That’s exactly what happened to Tyler Davis after he signed up for Hinge in April.
“It was funny. We both had joined because of Mayor Pete,” said Davis of his first match on the site. They spoke extensively but never ended up going out on a date, although he was heartened by the exchange.
Davis, a 25-year-old American living in Vancouver, said that while he is on other gay matchmaking sites including Grindr and Scruff, he was inspired by Buttigieg to join Hinge because it has a “different connotation.”
“Hinge is a lot more wholesome. I grew up in a conservative Christian household so I have a lot of traditional values, and the fact that Chasten and Mayor Pete embody a lot of them as an openly gay couple is not something you see portrayed all of the time,” Davis said. “My ultimate goal is to have a family.”
Andaluz, who came out at 30, also related to Buttigieg’s own later-in-life story. “This hit a nerve with me because I was someone who came out a bit later,” he said. (The mayor has said he came out as gay at age 33.) Andaluz recently went out on his first Hinge date and the two men are trying to navigate their schedules to meet again.
It’s too early for any of the new Hinge members to have found their Mr. Rights, but Crawford said he is actively looking for someone smart, fun and politically active: “Basically, I want Michelle Obama if she had XY chromosomes.”
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