In his memoir, Shortest Way Home, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg describes his coming out as a process of “becoming one person,” adding that he only became “whole” upon meeting his now-husband, Chasten. But he didn’t always feel this way about being gay.
At a speaking event on Sunday, Buttigieg, who launched a presidential exploratory committee in January and will likely announce his campaign proper this weekend, said that he used to wish that he weren’t gay, NBC News reports.
“If you could have offered me a pill that could make me straight, I would have swallowed it before you could give me a swig of water,” said the Mayor of South Bend at a brunch hosted by the Victory Fund, an American political action committee that supports pro-choice LGBTQ+ candidates. “It’s a hard thing to think about now. If you had shown me exactly what it was that made me gay, I would have cut it out with a knife.”
The Democratic hopeful came out in a 2015 editorial for The South Bend Tribune, titled “Why Coming Out Matters.” In the middle of a re-election campaign at the time, he ending up winning with 80 percent of the vote.
“Thank God there was no pill,” he continued. “Thank God there was no knife.”
Buttigieg, whose campaign has raised more $7 million over the past three months, also spoke of his school teacher husband, as well as his one-time boss, former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
"Being married to Chasten has made me a better human being because it has made me more compassionate, more understanding, more self-aware, and more decent," Buttigieg said, per The Hill. "My marriage to Chasten has made me a better man. And yes, Mr. Vice President, it has moved me closer to God.”
"That's the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand,” he continued. “That if you have a problem with who I am, your quarrel is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator."