Peter Buttigieg, mayor of Indiana city South Bend, has revealed he is gay in a piece he wrote for the local newspaper, The South Bend Tribune. The 33-year-old Democrat has been in office since 2012 and also served in Afghanistan as a lieutenant in the US Navy Reserves in 2014. He explains why coming out matters, the path that has been paved so far for equality, and where he sees it headed in the future.
He was born and raised in South Bend, and went to a high school with 1000 students, and yet he states that never met another LGBT person who was openly out while at school. But he acknowledges how much things have changed in the 15 years since he was in high school, and describes the “positive development” of LGBT being accepted by their peers at a younger age, making them feel more self-aware and easing the transition into adulthood.
While he admits the difficulty in discussing something so personal, he confides that being open and honest is the true way to help others, especially younger members of the LGBT community. He can also provide a face to those conservatives who may feel they don’t know any gay people, and show that they have the same value and are a part of the community as any other. Most importantly, he wants to be able to move forward from things like “Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act”, and “navigate these issues based on what is best about Indiana: values like respect, decency, and support for families — all families.”
Read Mayor Buttigieg’s complete essay here.
Information and photo for this article was sourced from The South Bend Tribune.