In a powerful speech delivered Sunday,
presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg said that there was a time when
he would have done anything not to be gay.
Speaking at an LGBTQ Victory Fund
brunch in Washington, D.C., Buttigieg, who married his husband
Chasten last year, reiterated that he came out because he was ready
to fall in love, but getting to that point was a struggle for the
37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
“When I was younger, I would have
done anything to not be gay,” Buttigieg said. “When I began to
halfway realize what it meant that I felt the way I did about people
I saw in the hallway at school or in the dining hall in college, it
launched in me something I can only describe as a kind of war.”
“If you had offered me a pill to make
me straight, I would have swallowed it before you would have time to
give me a sip of water. It's a hard thing to think about now. It's
hard to face the truth that there were times in my life when if you
had shown me exactly what it was inside me that made me gay, I would
have cut it out with a knife.”
“And the reason it's so awful to
think about isn't just the knowledge that so many young people
struggling to come to terms with their sexuality or their gender
identity do just that – they harm themselves, figuratively or
literally. But the real reason it's so hard to think about is if I
had a chance to do that, I never would have found my way to Chas.
That the best thing in my life, my marriage, might not have happened
“Thank God there was no pill. Thank
God there was no knife,” he added.
Buttigieg also took a swipe at Vice
President Mike Pence, the former governor of Indiana and a vocal
opponent of LGBT rights, including marriage equality.
“Being married to Chasten has made me
a better human being. … And yes Mr. Vice President, it has moved me
closer to God,” Buttigieg said.
In introducing his husband, Buttigieg
said that America was falling in love with Chasten, just like he did.