Chasten Buttigieg made Drew Barrymore cry by describing his small town childhood

Chasten Buttigieg
Chasten Buttigieg Photo: Screenshot

Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of out Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, brought actress Drew Barrymore to tears while describing his struggles growing up gay in a small town.

“When I was growing up in conservative rural Michigan, I thought I was the only gay person in the world. I thought something was twisted and wrong with me,” he recently told Barrymore and her co-host Ross Matthews on The Drew Barrymore Show.

Buttigieg appeared on the show to promote his new memoir I Have Something to Tell You – For Young Adults. The book recounts his childhood, his coming to terms with his homosexuality, and his relationship with his husband, who ran for president in 2020.

He told the show’s hosts that, while growing up, he felt like a “fish out of water” and constantly suffered from imposter syndrome, an intense doubt in his own personal skills and abilities.

“I thought something in my DNA was compromised, and I spent 18 years of my life hating this fact about me,” Buttigieg said as Barrymore wiped tears from her eyes, Decider reported.

Buttigieg said he thought he’d have to hide aspects of himself when his husband began his 2020 election campaign. However, over time, Buttigieg decided to embrace these parts of himself.

“When you embrace the qualities about yourself that make you weird or make you different or make you feel like you stand out from the crowd, you start to see what actually makes you truly powerful and unique and beautiful.”

He added that he has since developed a “fantastic” relationship with his family as an out gay man. He also now realizes that “You’re not defined by the opinions of other people.”

In a 2020 tell-all interview, Buttigieg discussed growing up in Traverse City, Michigan. He said he attended a high school where “if you weren’t on the football team or one of the jocks … you were picked on and bullied and belittled.” When he came out as gay to his family around age 18, they disowned him, making him homeless. Around the same time, he said he was sexually assaulted by “a friend of his friends.”

He met Pete Buttigieg in 2015 on the dating app Hinge and was most attracted to photos of Pete Buttigieg in his military uniform, Buttigieg admitted. Pete Buttigieg came out that year. The pair dated for three years before marrying during Pride festivities in 2018.

Buttigieg has become an outspoken defender of his husband from homophobic right-wing attacks. He has also proudly shared images and details about the two young children that he and his husband are raising. As such, he has become a public model for the love and dignity of same-sex parents.

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