Pete Buttigieg, a.k.a. "Mayor Pete," is the only millennial candidate in the 2020 race—and if elected, he'd be the youngest president in American history. Despite his youth and local experience, the Internet has been fangirling over the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who is openly gay and married to husband Chasten Glezman (who now goes by Chasten Buttigieg on social media). It's not hard to see why: Pete, a veteran and scholar, is charismatic and whip-smart, and has been described as the future of the Democratic party by Obama himself.
Considering the steps backwards the Trump administration has taken for LGBTQ+ rights in the States—Mike Pence, I'm looking at you—it would be nothing short of glorious to have a same-sex couple in the White House. Here's everything we know about Chasten, our potential first-ever "First Gentleman."
Chasten and Pete's story have connected with lots of Americans.
As they've continued on the campaign trail, the Buttigiegs have come across lots of people who have felt supported and loved by the message that Chasten summarized this way: "You belong. You are loved. You are welcome here." (sobs)
There's also been an educational aspect, as with this video on National Coming Out day about different experiences and perspectives coming from people who have worked on the Buttigieg 2020 campaign:
And Pete has also shared his coming-out story, just like Chasten did (below), saying that "after coming home safe from Afghanistan, I realized that every day is a gift—and that it made no sense to remain so trapped by expectations that I might go to my grave with no idea what it was like to be in love." Cue coming out, meeting Chasten, and getting married (heart eye emoji).
So the two have been building an inclusive space not just personally but also professionally too. And then, of course, there's Chasten and Pete's adorable pictures on the road together, which is endearing all sorts of people to them:
I'm not crying (I'm totally crying).
He's a teacher.
Per their New York Times wedding announcement, the 29-year-old Chasten is a "junior high school teacher at a Montessori Academy in nearby Mishawaka, Indiana." He got his master's in education at nearby DePaul University after getting his BA from the University of Wisconsin. He teaches humanities and drama, and is apparently super-beloved by the kids.
Even though he's been on and off the campaign trail with his husband since Pete announced his candidacy, Chasten has still been taking the opportunity to chat with students:
And champion important causes he supports:
They've been together since 2015.
Both are from the Midwest, and they bonded over their shared love of local food on a first date in September 2015. "Once I saw he was down for the Scotch egg, I knew it had a shot," said Pete.
"I had been in a couple of relationships and was a couple years out of my last," added Chasten. "I wanted to meet someone to actually go on a date with, the goal being a long-term relationship."
They moved in together in 2016, with Chasten commuting back to Chicago until he finished his degree.
He's very supportive.
After the couple got married, Pete explained, "Chasten has done a great job of making sure things went well while I was putting in late nights at the office and he’s got a pretty demanding job as a teacher as well.”
And when Pete announced his run, Chasten was all in:
And also really outgoing.
Chasten does improv comedy, and, hilariously, is much more extroverted than his "shy" partner Pete (interesting, given the latter's choice of profession and, well, the fact that he's running for president).
They had the best wedding ever.
Apparently, "it was the first time in four decades that a sitting mayor of South Bend had gotten married while in office."
Both men love Indiana and the Midwest, and that enthusiasm really showed in their marriage. Per their New York Times wedding announcement, the nuptials featured:
Tacos from the Rico Suave food truck; sliders from South Bend’s the Beard & the Boss (even the pork was local, provided by Gunthorp Farms, a fourth-generation Indiana operation); beer from South Bend Brew Works; an assortment of regional cheeses from Oh Mamma’s deli; salads from Cafe Navarre; lattes and coffee from Zen Cafe, housed inside LangLab; artisanal chocolates from local Violet Sky chocolatier; specially created ice cream from the Outside Scoop, flavored with honey harvested from community gardens or whiskey from an Indiana distillery.
And they have the cutest dogs.
Just look at them!
They've been on the campaign trail together.
Chasten gave his first interview ever, saying (amongst other things), "I'm really happy to carry the torch and bravely and proudly carry the banner for our community and for everyone. This campaign is love and you are loved and you matter. And we're gonna go out there and make you proud." It's really, really sweet.
CNN also noted that Pete's momentum was tied in with Chasten's rising popularity, as the two stepped out for public events. The pair even went on The Ellen DeGeneres Show:
And the two even got a TIME cover:
It also looks like, more and more, Chasten is going out and speaking to people without his husband, becoming a known entity in his own right (it's unclear whether he's currently still teaching back in Indiana, although considering he's on the trail and traveling, that's probably unlikely):
Yet at the same time, Chasten finds time for their cute, cute furbabies, who are likely wondering why their dads just got 100 times more popular overnight:
And throughout this whole process, Pete has been giving endless shoutouts to his partner in life and in the campaign process:
Chasten's shared heartbreaking stories about growing up.
While Chasten and Pete have been on the campaign trail, we've gotten the chance to learn even more about him. Though he and his parents have reconciled, when he initially came out, "I don’t recall my parents specifically saying I couldn’t live at home anymore, but I was made to believe I needed to leave," he explained to the New York Times.
After the initial conversation, he told The Washington Post that he bounced around, sleeping on couches and technically homeless until his parents finally invited him back home. His parents ended up embracing him and even walking him down the aisle; His brothers, though, never came to a place of acceptance.
In that same article, he also shared a horrifying but all-too-relatable incident the year after he came out: "He was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance at a house party. That was another burdensome secret, another truth he was afraid his friends would not accept." But he has been able to come to terms with it, and his husband helped him recover. "There’s a lot of baggage there, a lot of hurt, and [Pete] was so patient," he said. "I’ve never felt so seen."
Chasten also admitted that being on the campaign trail was exhausting, and that he's lost 20 pounds since the holidays. Some of it's from the nastiness—slurs yelled at him and Pete, nasty letter to their home, and so forth—but some of it's simply from being so open. "The feeling that I end most of my days with is, like, vulnerability fatigue," he says. "You put yourself out there so much. And we’ve invited the world to scrutinize us."
We also got some sweet tidbits: Chasten and Pete met on Hinge, and Pete proposed at Chicago O'Hare airport, which is apparently where Chasten first saw Pete's profile. Awwww. These two!
Meanwhile, Chasten's apparently gotten back to work:
But he remains fully supportive of his high-flying husband and we're definitely going to see lots more of him.
We're getting more and more details of the couples' life together.
In a Democratic Presidential Candidate Pop Culture survey put together by E! News, Pete explained his favorite show of all time. He shared that "Chasten and I just finished Game of Thrones, perhaps the best TV show about politics since Deadwood." What did you think about that controversial ending, though?? I must know!
For favorite ice cream flavor, Pete said, "For my and Chasten's wedding, a local vendor called Outside Scoop made a flavor with Michigan cherries, local honey, and chocolate and whiskey from Indiana, so I have to go with that one." Um, that sounds delicious. I hope they have a freezer full of it.
Chasten continues to support Pete politically.
It also looks like Chasten is back on the campaign trail with his husband, most recently in Nashville:
And before that in Kansas City:
They were also in Provincetown recently (a town with a strong LGBTQ community), which welcomed the pair with open arms:
Chasten even filled in for Pete at the DNC LGBTQ gala:
And has been texting with grassroots supporters:
They just celebrated their one-year anniversary.
Chasten posted this about a month ago:
Pete even gave us a little video footage in a campaign video:
The couple look so sweet and happy together. What a YEAR it must have been for the couple, and Chasten in particular.
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