Election News

Mayor Pete ‘made history’ by talking about his coming out at the Democratic debate

Pete Buttigieg on a stage
Photo: Shutterstock

Last night the top ten Democratic contenders for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination faced off in a debate in Houston, Texas.

During the debate, the candidates were each asked to share a story about when they needed resilience. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg talked about coming out as gay.

As a military officer service under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and as an elected official in the state of Indiana when Mike Pence was governor, at a certain point, when it came to professional setbacks, I had to wonder whether just acknowledging who I was was going to be the ultimate career-ending professional setback.

I came back from the deployment and realized you only get to live one life. I was not interested in not knowing what it was like to be in love any longer.

So I just came out.

I had no idea what kind of professional setback it would be, especially because, inconveniently, it was an election year in my socially conservative community.

What happened was that when I trusted voters to judge me based on the job that I did for them, they decided to trust me, and reelected me with 80% of the vote.

What I learned was that trust can be reciprocated and that part of how you can win – and deserve to win – is to know what’s worth more to you than winning. And I think what’s what we need in the presidency right now: we have to know what we are about.

Related: Out candidate Pete Buttigieg would beat Donald Trump in presidential election

On Twitter, people said that this was a sign of how much has changed since even the last presidential election.

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