clearn.png
Sunday September 22nd, 2019 2:03AM

Buttigieg describes his coming out, need to bridge divides

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg described Saturday his public coming out as a gay man in 2015 and how the exclusion he experienced made him conscious of what it means to belong and the need to overcome divisions.

The 37-year-old described "a crisis of belonging in this country" experienced by LGBTQ people, women, immigrants, people of color, people with disabilities, workers and more and the need for "hopeful and audacious voices" to unite people in a changing time.

"What every gay person has in common with every excluded person of any kind is knowing what it's like to see a wall between you and the rest of the world and wonder what it's like on the other side," Buttigieg said as he gave the keynote address Saturday night in Las Vegas at a gala for the Human Rights Campaign.

The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, made the appearance at the LGBTQ civil rights group event while making his second campaign swing this year through Nevada, which is third in line to cast votes for the Democratic presidential nomination next year.

Despite having held only one public office leading a community of about 100,000 people, the mayor's name recognition and popularity have surged as he has jumped into the race for the White House.

"I'd be lying if I didn't admit that we're a little surprised too at the speed of this trajectory," he said.

As a sign of the mayor's rising visibility, President Donald Trump this week mocked Buttigieg at a rally and likened him to Mad magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman in an interview with Politico.

Buttigieg said Saturday that 20 years ago, if someone told his teenaged self that that in 2019, he'd wake up to reports "that the president of the United States was apparently trying to get his attention, he would have wondered what you were talking about. Let alone if you told him that the president somehow pronounced his name right."

Buttigieg could become the first openly gay presidential nominee from a major political party. He is competing in a crowded field of Democratic candidates that includes former Vice President Joe Biden leading the pack and drawing heavily on his connections to President Barack Obama.

Buttigieg appeared to hint at Biden's allusions to the Obama administration Saturday night when he said the country can't and won't move backward.

"Democrats can't take us back to 2008 or 1998 any more than conservatives can take us back to the '50s," he said.

The former Naval intelligence officer also described his decision while serving as mayor and preparing to deploy to Afghanistan to publicly come out as gay.

"I was seized with the awareness that I could be killed in action at the age of 33, a grown man and an elected official, with no idea what it was like to be in love," he said. "I knew that I had to be who I am."

He noted that the op-ed article he published where he announced he was gay came when Vice President Mike Pence was serving as Indiana's governor — a fact that drew boos from the crowd.

The audience of about 750 members and supporters gave Buttigieg two standing ovations, including when his husband, Chasten, joined him on stage and they embraced at the end of his speech.

Before Buttigieg appeared on the stage at Caesars Palace, he met earlier Saturday with members of Nevada's Asian American Pacific Islander Democratic Caucus in Las Vegas.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Alyssa Milano calls for sex strike, ignites social media
In a tweet, actress Alyssa Milano has urged women to stop having sex to protest strict abortion bans passed by Republican-controlled legislatures
11:23PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Harvick on pole for Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway
Kevin Harvick on the pole and Stewart-Haas teammate Clint Bowyer will be right with him when green flag drops on NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway
11:22PM ( 29 minutes ago )
N. Korean cargo ship seized by US arrives in American Samoa
A North Korean cargo ship seized by the U.S. because of suspicion it was used to violate international sanctions arrived Saturday at the capital of this American territory
11:18PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Polish nationalists protest US over Holocaust claims
Thousands of Polish nationalists have marched to the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, protesting that the U.S. is putting pressure on Poland to compensate Jews whose families lost property during the Holocaust
9:15PM ( 2 hours ago )
Turkish opposition journalist hospitalized following attack
A journalist critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government and its nationalist allies has been hospitalized after being attacked outside his home
9:08PM ( 2 hours ago )
Cuban gay rights groups hold unauthorized march in Havana
Gay rights activists using social media organized an unauthorized march down eight blocks of one of Havana's main thoroughfares before they were stopped by police
7:55PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP National News
Trump says voters don't care about his personal tax returns
President Donald Trump is scoffing at Democrats' attempts to pry loose his tax returns, saying his refusal to release the records as a candidate didn't hurt him in 2016 and voters "didn't care" about the issue
3:03PM ( 8 hours ago )
South Africa's ruling ANC marks weakest election victory
South Africa's ruling ANC marks weakest election victory amid anger over corruption scandals
2:17PM ( 9 hours ago )
Beto O'Rourke plans 'reintroduction' as 2020 buzz fizzles
Beto O'Rourke readies 'reintroduction' as 2020 buzz fizzles
11:57AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Elections
Ex-Fugees rapper charged in campaign finance case
A lawyer for one of the founding members of the 1990s hip-hop group the Fugees says his client is facing charges related to 2012 campaign contributions
4:13PM ( 1 day ago )
Warren bringing opioids message to hard-hit W.Va., Ohio
Democratic presidential Elizabeth Warren is traveling to West Virginia and Ohio on Friday to share her plan to tax the wealthy as a way of fighting the U.S. opioid addiction crisis
12:06AM ( 1 day ago )
Sen. Burr takes GOP fire over Trump Jr subpoena
Republicans lash out at Sen. Richard Burr for his committee's subpoena of President Donald Trump's son
12:02AM ( 1 day ago )
General Election News
Arms control, Venezuela, Iran high on Pompeo's Russia agenda
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will head to Russia next week for talks with President Vladimir Putin amid heightened U.S.-Russia tensions over the crisis in Venezuela and the Trump administration's hardline policy on Iran
3:12PM ( 1 day ago )
South Africa's ruling ANC coasting to win in national vote
The ruling African National Congress was on course to win South Africa's presidential and parliamentary elections by a comfortable margin, but with less support than the party received five years go
12:49PM ( 1 day ago )
South Africa's ruling ANC cruising to a win in national vote
The ruling African National Congress is coasting to a comfortable lead in South Africa's presidential and parliamentary elections with 83% of the vote counted, but the tally shows the party getting less support than five years ago
6:58AM ( 1 day ago )
General Presidential Election News
McConnell capitalizes on attack with 'Cocaine Mitch' shirts
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's reelection campaign is capitalizing on a fellow Republican's attack, selling "Cocaine Mitch" shirts on his campaign's website
1:23PM ( 2 days ago )
UK opposition campaigns, govt lies low, in EU election
Britain's opposition parties are out campaigning for the upcoming European Parliament election
12:27PM ( 2 days ago )
UK's Labour walks Brexit tightrope in EU election campaign
Britain's main opposition Labour Party has launched its campaign for European Parliament election with an attempt to appeal to Brexit-backers and pro-Europeans alike
8:27AM ( 2 days ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Alyssa Milano calls for sex strike, ignites social media
In a tweet, actress Alyssa Milano has urged women to stop having sex to protest strict abortion bans passed by Republican-controlled legislatures
11:23PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Harvick on pole for Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway
Kevin Harvick on the pole and Stewart-Haas teammate Clint Bowyer will be right with him when green flag drops on NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway
11:22PM ( 29 minutes ago )
N. Korean cargo ship seized by US arrives in American Samoa
A North Korean cargo ship seized by the U.S. because of suspicion it was used to violate international sanctions arrived Saturday at the capital of this American territory
11:18PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Voting in Indian elections reaches next-to-last phase
Indians are voting in the next-to-last round of 6-week-long national elections, marked by a highly acrimonious campaign with Prime Minister Narendra Modi flaying the opposition Congress party rival Rahul Gandhi for the country's ills
11:07PM ( 44 minutes ago )
The Latest: Keselowski wins Cup Series race at Kansas
The Latest on the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway: Brad Keselowski raced to his third NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season, holding off a charging pack in overtime to take the checkered flag at Kansas Speedway.
11:07PM ( 45 minutes ago )