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Chasten Buttigieg opens up about struggles he faced with sexuality

Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, opened up this week about the struggles he faced after coming out as gay, telling The Washington Post about his family’s struggle with his sexual orientation.

Growing up in Michigan, Chasten Buttigieg told the Post in an interview published Thursday that he stood out among his brothers early on in their childhood. Unlike his older siblings who played sports and hunted, Buttigieg said he often would be “inside reading Harry Potter or singing Celine Dion at the top of my lungs while my mom and I were dusting the cabinets.”

Buttigieg recalled coming out for the first time to his friends and family shortly after he graduated from high school, recounting sitting with his family in their home that day and having them read a letter he wrote coming out about his sexuality.

{mosads}“I remember my mom crying and the first thing she asked me was if I was sick. I think she meant, like, did I have AIDS?” he told the Post.

Buttigieg described a silence falling over his family at the time before one of his brothers started to say: “No brother of mine …”

He packed his bags and left shortly after, telling the Post, “I felt like I just could not be there.”

Buttigieg said he began to sleep at some of his friends’ homes and in the parking lot of the community college he attended. 

He said his mom called him months later asking him to come home. 

“She said, ‘Will you come home?’” Buttigieg said. “And I cried and I went home immediately.”

Buttigieg said he and his parents were able to resolve their views on his sexuality. When he married South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg last year, Chasten Buttigieg said his parents attended the ceremony and walked him down the aisle. 

Still, Chasten Buttigieg said he and his brothers Rhyan and Dustin Glezman “never got over it.”

Rhyan Glezman, the pastor of a Christian church in Clio, Mich., told the Post that he wants “the best” for his brother, but added, “I just don’t support the gay lifestyle,” despite the couple’s recent marriage.

—Updated at 11:39 a.m. on May 3. Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect attribution for a quote. It has been fixed to reflect Chasten Buttigieg said it.

Tags Coming out Homosexuality LGBT Pete Buttigieg
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