Pete Buttigieg's Husband Chasten Shared an Empowering Coming Out Message

"You are not required to open healed wounds."

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(Image credit: Emma McIntyre)

If you haven't heard of him, Chasten Buttigieg, also known as Chasten Glezman, is a teacher and the husband of presidential candidate "Mayor Pete" Buttigieg. Not only is Chasten fiercely supportive of his husband as Pete begins the path to a 2020 run, but he's taking the opportunity to speak out issues that are important to him. On Tuesday, he shared a critical piece of advice about how to protect and shield your own coming-out process.

Chasten wrote on Twitter, "Your time in the closet and your journey to coming out belong to you. You are not required to open healed wounds or write lengthy threads in order to explain your worth to others who aren’t willing to see it themselves. You matter first."

He didn't make clear what prompted his message. Chasten is a teacher, so he could have been inspired by a young person, or something he saw on social media, given his reference to a "lengthy thread." It could be a personal reflection, or a combination of the two. It's also possible he's referring to a Slate piece that considered whether Pete, as a gay man, was sufficiently diverse as a candidate—"Buttigieg doesn’t seem terribly sold on the idea of gayness as a cultural framework, formative identity, or anything more than a category of sexual and romantic behavior...When he came out in a 2015 essay four years into his tenure as mayor, it was with some reluctance," noted writer Christina Cauterucci.

Whatever the provocation, Chasten's response is on point and graceful. And fans jumped on the bandwagon, even suggesting that Pete should use "You matter first" as his 2020 campaign slogan.

Here's the original tweet:

Immediately after sharing the message, Chasten also retweeted a message from the Victory Institute that encourages LGBTQ people, women, and people of color to run for office, especially considering that they "need to be asked more times to run for office before they consider it than our straight counterparts."

In other words: Not only is Chasten in favor of the sacredness and privacy of individuals coming out, but he supports them using their voices for change and advocacy.

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Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.