Millions of people who identify as LGBTQ have their own unique coming out story. Chasten Buttigieg‘s is no different.
The 31-year-old sat down with TMZ on Monday, September 7, to talk about how his went down when he was growing up in a conservative area of Northern Michigan.
“High school is a tough place and I just felt, you know, it was a matter of fact that you could not be gay here,” he said before revealing something startling along his journey. “It was unsafe to be gay and (I) pretty much ran away when I came out.”
Chasten did this without his parent’s knowing. “I wrote my mom a letter, said I’m sorry, you know? Figured I’d be such a disappointment and I got out. Not because my parents hated me and told me to leave but because I was so convinced by everything that I had learned for 18 years that I would be a disappointment and the society I grew up in told me that I was twisted and broken.”
He then slept on some friend’s couches and spent nights in his car before his mother called him a few months later while he was on his way home from work. “She said, ‘I want you to come home.’ And I drove right home. I hadn’t seen my parents in a couple of months and we just tried to make it work and we did.”
It was then that Chasten realized his parents were on his side and not the total opposite. “They affirmed my existence, they told me they were scared for me, they told me they would fight like hell for me, and we have to do that for all the people in our life,” he revealed. “People who opened up and said, ‘this is going to be really hard and you have an ally in me.'”
“Not everybody gets that in our community,” Chasten said, referencing how many of us are rejected by our loved ones for who we authentically are. “I love the hell out of my parents,” he also gushed for what they did for him and his sexuality.
Chasten talks about this and so much more in his memoir called I Have Something To Tell You, which was released earlier this month.