Out Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg posted a heartwarming Pride statement to social media yesterday that namechecked iconic LGBTQ activists Marsha P. Johnson and Harvey Milk, as well as his husband Chasten.
Buttigieg is the first out LGBTQ person to lead an executive department, and he did not let his first Pride Month in the position go by without acknowledging the people who made that possible.
“What began as a protest, organized primarily by Black trans women like Marsha P. Johnson, has evolved into a defiant celebration of our love, our humanity, and our collective resilience,” he said, referring to the Stonewall Riots.
Buttigieg said that the Department of Transportation is working to implement President Joe Biden’s executive order that banned discrimination against LGBTQ people in some areas of federal law.
“Harvey Milk once said that ‘Hope will never be silent,'” Buttigieg said. “Not long ago, there was a time when I believed that I might have to choose between serving my country and starting my own family.”
He noted that it hasn’t been that long since out LGBTQ people weren’t allowed to serve in the military or would have had a very difficult time getting elected as mayor, both of which he did.
“Yet today, I’m honored to serve as a member of the president’s Cabinet, and proud that I was sworn in with my husband Chasten by my side.”
Then he spoke directly to LGBTQ youth: “I want you to know that there are so many people out there ready and eager to accept and support you, including me.”
Happy Pride! 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/Z5KE3EOBEu
— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) June 1, 2021
Buttigieg’s predecessor, Elaine Chao, did not issue statements for Pride Month. She had experience working for the anti-LGBTQ organization Heritage Foundation before she was nominated as Secretary of Transportation by Donald Trump, and she has been a vocal supporter of her husband and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R) anti-LGBTQ record.