It was quite the heady weekend for White House hopeful Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.
From there, he went straight to a fundraising brunch for the LGBTQ Victory Fund which supports – who else? – LGBTQ candidates.
Speaking to the audience, Buttigieg shared that his dream as a child was to explore space. Clearly, things took a different direction.
“As a kid I was hoping one day I’d be an astronaut,” he shared, “but no way would I have believed that one fine day in the spring of 2019 I would be standing in a ballroom in Washington, 37 years old, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, in my eighth year as mayor of my hometown, a couple hours after going on Meet The Press as a credible contender for the American presidency, with my husband looking on from his table!”
Funny how that happens, no?
The 37-year-old mayor confided that he wasn’t always so comfortable being open about his sexuality. In fact, he says he would have “done anything” to change that part of himself.4
When I was younger, I would have done anything to not be gay. When I began to halfway realize what it meant, it launched in me something I can only describe as a kind of war. And if the war had been settled on the terms that I would have wished for when I was 15 or 20 or, frankly, even 25 I would not be standing here. If you had offered me a pill to make me straight, I would’ve swallowed it before you had time to give me a sip of water.
Mayor Pete added, “Thank God, there was no pill.”
Buttigieg also spoke eloquently about his marriage to his husband, Chasten. In doing so, he referenced Vice President Mike Pence, who has a long history of anti-LGBTQ positions including opposing same-sex marriage.
“Being married to Chasten has made me a better human being because it has made me more compassionate, more understanding, more self-aware and more decent,” he said at the fundraising brunch.
“My marriage to Chasten has made me a better man. And yes, Mr. Vice President, it has moved me closer to God,” he added.
— The Hill (@thehill) April 7, 2019
The two-term mayor also told the crowd that if Pence and others have a “problem” with him being gay, then their problem is not with Buttigieg but with his “creator.”
“Speaking only for myself, I can tell you that if me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade,” Buttigieg said.
“And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand,” he continued. “If you’ve got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”
— The Hill (@thehill) April 8, 2019
Buttigieg has announced an “event” for Sunday, April 14, where he is expected to officially announce his entry into the 2020 presidential race. His team has announced he raised over $7 million in the first quarter and has surpassed the 65,000 donor threshold in order to qualify for the first two Democratic debates scheduled for this summer.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) April 4, 2019
You can watch Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s full speech at the LGBTQ Victory Fund brunch below.