Chasten Buttigieg: DC ‘almost unaffordable’

Chasten Buttigieg, husband of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, opened up about adjusting to life in the nation’s capital in a piece published by The Washington Post on Monday, saying the city is “almost unaffordable.”

Speaking to the Post, Buttigieg, who previously worked as a middle school drama teacher, admitted to having some difficulties in adjusting to life in Washington, D.C., namely the recognition he and his husband frequently receive in public. He described one instance in which a lobbyist approached him while he was at the gym.

“It was like, ‘Well, can’t go here. Can’t go to the lobbyist gym,’ ” Buttigieg recalled thinking.

“Like, anytime you think you’re just relaxing, you’re working,” he said of D.C. culture. “Especially on the Hill. Cocktails, dinners, drinks. Everyone says, ‘No work tonight.’ Then two minutes go by and they’re talking about a pipeline, you know, or a bill or a package.”

Apart from the culture, Buttigieg told the Post that the financial differences from South Bend, Ind., were also stark.

“We’re doing fine for ourselves, and [yet] the city is almost unaffordable,” he said. “Which tells you how extremely unaffordable it is for many people.”

The Post notes that as Transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg has a salary of $221,400.

“I need a job,” Chasten Buttigieg conceded. He is aiming to find work that doesn’t threaten his husband’s position while also still having to do with his passions, though he said he does not think he could return to K-12 education.

“Teaching is a hard job, and it requires you to make difficult decisions. You need a lot of individuality in the role.” he said. “You need a lot of trust. Trust from parents, trust from the students. And when you are high-profile person, there are many vulnerabilities.”

Tags affordability Chasten Buttigieg Culture of Washington, D.C. D.C. Pete Buttigieg United States Secretary of Transportation Washington D.C.
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