During a recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg talked about being the first openly gay member of a presidential cabinet.

Host Stephen Colbert asked Buttigieg what he was trying to convey in recent remarks at the White House's LGBT Pride ceremony.

(Related: Biden LGBT Pride actions include appointing special envoy, signing Pulse nightclub bill.)

Buttigieg answered that he wanted to highlight the progress that has been made and the road that lies ahead for LGBT rights.

“If you look at the 50s, there was a historical episode called the lavender scare. You couldn't even be a bookkeeper or an astronomer in the federal government without your job being at risk if you were gay. And so I wanted to convey a sense of just how much has changed in a short amount of time but also how far we have to go.”

“As we speak, in states around the country, there are politicians who have decided it's good politics to attack transgender kids,” he said, referring to dozens of state bills seeking to curtail the rights of transgender youth.

“These kids have the courage to be who they are and they just want to be accepted and go to the bathroom like everybody else and play sports like everybody else – and live.”

“I hope it will prove to not be good politics to pick on transgender kids when these political attacks and terrible laws get beaten back. So, that was the other part of my message,” he said.

Buttigieg, who campaigned against President Joe Biden for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, is the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.