Pride in Pictures: Chasten Buttigieg feels pure joy marching hand in hand with his mom

Pride in Pictures, Chasten Buttigieg
Photo: Chasten Buttigieg

For our second annual Pride in Pictures, LGBTQ Nation asked readers to submit a meaningful photo of themselves at Pride.

We have absolutely loved seeing your joy, your glitter, your fabulous outfits, and of course, your pride. Now, we’re spending the summer sharing some of our favorite photos and stories with all of you.

Kicking us off this week is Chasten Buttigieg, a vocal LGBTQ activist and the husband of current United States Secretary of Transportation and former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. 

Related: Pride in Pictures: Helping our trans child become her true self


Chasten Buttigieg


Michigan, 2019

What makes this photo special to you?

I grew up in conservative Northern Michigan, and I couldn’t bear the thought of disappointing my family when I came out, so I just ran. I slept on friends’ couches and in the back of my car. One day, mom called and asked me to come home. My parents didn’t know anything about being LGBTQ, they just wanted to know I was safe.

This photo is of my mother and me in 2019, walking in my hometown Pride march (which didn’t exist until 2014) while out on the trail for my husband’s presidential campaign. I love celebrating my existence at Pride, the fact that I am still here. But I also know that life has granted me so much grace and privilege ever since I ran away from home, and I use Pride as a time to recommit myself to making sure everyone in our community, especially those too often ignored and passed-over, those who don’t get to go home, can feel seen and know that their community and country is fighting for them too. I want everyone to experience the joy I felt when my mom held my hand in that march. I want everyone to feel like they belong.

Pride in Pictures, Chasten Buttigieg
Chasten Buttigieg
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