Mayor Pete Talks Being Gay, Chasten and His Historic Candidacy at CNN Town Hall 

Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-South Bend, Ind.) speaks at the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate (Photo courtesy of CNN)

CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked former Mayor Pete Buttigieg at a CNN town hall Thursday night what his win in Iowa should mean for LGBT people that may be watching the show.    

Here are a few of the excerpts. “Everyone's story is different, but the thing I want people to hear is that it gets better. I would have done anything at a certain time in my life not to be gay and believed that as that reality became inescapable that it might cost, the chance to serve in uniform or in office,” the veteran told the audience. “And here I am now finding that very same fact that I thought might prevent me from having an impact in the world […] it’s actually very much part of the impact I get to have now.”


“I mean I'm not running to be the gay President of the United States I'm running to be a president for everybody, but talks about God having a sense of humor,” the former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana said while the audience laughed. “I know right now there's so many, especially young people, who question whether they fit in their own family, in their community, as they come to terms with who they are. We got a long way to go when it comes to LGBTQ equality right now. But I think the fact that I'm standing here. The fact that my husband's in the audience watching right now is just an amazing example of that belief that that yes, yes you belong. And this country has a place for you.”

Cuomo then asked about his victory speech on Monday night when it appeared he was going to do very well in caucus, ”what did it mean to you to look over at the person you love in that kind of moment and recognize that you actually were where you were.”

Cuomo was referring to Buttigieg’s husband Chasten. 

“I don't even have words for it especially because I wouldn't be here without him. When I was a bachelor mayor in South Bend. And honestly, kind of avoiding love, because I wasn't ready for the consequences. I never understood […] how anybody could possibly hold office, and also have a family, or a spouse. I just couldn't imagine how you'd have room for both,” the presidential hopeful said. “It's funny because now I absolutely cannot possibly imagine that without Chasten cheering me on, and also offering brutally honest feedback when I need it, and reminding me of who I am. You know when we had that conversation before deciding to do this. He let me know that he supported me, and he said that he's all in for this, but, we will always be true to who we are, and our values. And we have to find some joy along the way. He's been a partner in this whole thing, and I quite simply couldn't do it without him.” 

As Buttigieg finished the audience gave him a round of applause. 


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