The new issue of TIME Magazine features Democratic presidential contender Mayor Pete Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, with the caption “First Family: The unlikely, untested and unprecedented campaign of Mayor Pete Buttigieg.”
The Buttigieg’s are the first gay couple to pose for the cover of the magazine since a 2013 issue that focused on marriage equality.
Although it’s early in the Democratic primary season – there hasn’t even been a debate yet – folks are finding themselves drawn to one candidate or another. Whether you find yourself a Buttigieg fan or not, it’s important to note the importance of representation of the LGBTQ community here.
What this means to me now is one thing. But oh, what it would have meant to me at nineteen. Twelve. Four.
We’re not there yet, but wow, how far we’ve come. https://t.co/fVbnqrk1bB
— Jeremy Hooper (@goodasyou) May 2, 2019
US presidential hopeful 'Mayor Pete' and his husband Chasten Buttigieg made the cover of TIME. Regardless of which Democratic candidate you support for president, this is historic and awesome! 👏 👏https://t.co/qtbKqoRJwJ
— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) May 2, 2019
A serious US presidential candidate and his husband (Mayor Pete & Chasten Buttigieg) on Time Magazine cover. I wish I could go back in time and show baby gay me this. pic.twitter.com/kKueRbeIzh
— Kade Boehme (@kadeboehme) May 2, 2019
Much of the profile distinguishes the 37-year-old’s approach to engaging potential voters.
While some Democrats have come out swinging, Mayor Pete’s approach has been a bit different. As the mayor of a midwestern city, he believes that when talking to voters you should “stick to your ideas, but explain why conservatives shouldn’t be afraid of them.”
He also shares that some of his colleagues from the Navy have reached out to express their support.
“I bet some of them still go back and tell gay jokes because that’s their habit, you know?” he tells TIME. “Bad habits and bad instincts is not the same as people being bad people.”
That perspective, seeing more than black and white, is what Buttigieg believes will help him reach across the political spectrum.
“We’ve got to get away from this kill-switch mentality that we see on Twitter,” he says. “This idea that we just sort people into baskets of good and evil ignores the central fact of human existence, which is that each of us is a basket of good and evil.”
“The job of politics is to summon the good and beat back the evil,” he adds.
The profile spends a lot of time delving into the mayor’s political background, but also explores the LGBTQ aspect of the couple’s history.
While Mayor Pete didn’t come out until his 30s, Chasten shares with TIME how coming out in his teens didn’t sit well with his Midwestern conservative parents.
“Being gay was not culturally acceptable where I grew up, mostly for a lack of understanding,” says Chasten. “And so my family and I were just at a crossroads, and we didn’t really know how to talk to one another.”
That ‘crossroads’ led to months of homelessness for Chasten as he found himself crashing on friends’ couches and sleeping in his car. He’s since reconciled with the parents now, who accept him and his marriage.
It’s a great piece for voters to learn more about Mayor Pete, his history, his approach to working with folks as well as his personal journey as a gay man to today.