INDIANA: South Bend Mayor Comes Out

“I was well into adulthood before I was prepared to acknowledge the simple fact that I am gay. It took years of struggle and growth for me to recognize that it’s just a fact of life, like having brown hair, and part of who I am. Putting something this personal on the pages of a newspaper does not come easy. We Midwesterners are instinctively private to begin with, and I’m not used to viewing this as anyone else’s business. But it’s clear to me that at a moment like this, being more open about it could do some good. For a local student struggling with her sexuality, it might be helpful for an openly gay mayor to send the message that her community will always have a place for her. And for a conservative resident from a different generation, whose unease with social change is partly rooted in the impression that he doesn’t know anyone gay, perhaps a familiar face can be a reminder that we’re all in this together as a community.”- Mayor Pete Buttigieg, writing today for the South Bend Tribune.

RELATED: Buttigieg was first elected in 2012 at the age of 30, making him the youngest US mayor of a city with a population over 100,000. In 2014 he left office for seven months to serve in Afghanistan with the US Navy Reserves. (Tipped by JMG reader Peter)

  • MichaelM

    I went to college with Peter…didn’t know him too well but he was regarded as a competent leader of the undergrad politics club (which was a big deal at Hahvahd). Would’ve never guessed that he played for the team.

    • Fyva Prold

      Maybe he, not Lindsey, will be the first gay POTUS.

      • MichaelM

        At least openly. James Buchanan was pretty clearly a friend of Dorothy.

  • Ed Burrow

    I used to live in South Bend. This guy is very popular, and he’s doing a great job. good on him!

  • Chris

    Wow, I knew about him for a while, accomplished guy, this came out of left field though. Maybe Indiana will have a governor soon who won’t dislike gays …

    • Queequeg

      I was thinking that, too. This guy needs to run for governor.

  • Wynter Marie Starr

    “And for a conservative resident from a different generation, whose unease with social change is partly rooted in the impression that he doesn’t know anyone gay, perhaps a familiar face can be a reminder that we’re all in this together as a community.”

    And this is the point that so many on the other side miss. The LGBT community are Americans and beyond that, human beings. Gay people aren’t monsters or degenerates or whatever other names bigots pin on the community. Hating what you don’t understand makes you less than human.

    • bambinoitaliano

      The mouthpiece on the other side knows that but it’s the only money making venue for them. Greed trumps morality, they will run over us just to make a few bucks. Fear is the best seller. So many on the other side just lapping it up.

      • Wynter Marie Starr

        Certainly the “leaders” know this as they fleece the uneducated, the frightened, and the ignorant. They can be dismissed out of hand for the snake oil salespeople they are. The people they grift off of don’t take the time to think, however. They are hampered by indoctrination, fear, and a lack of education. If this mayor’s statement can change one mind, it’s a victory, bambino. (Although it feels really weird calling someone I don’t know bambino)

        • What?

          That’s exaclty right. Since gays are part of families and communities, we are here for everyone to see. As increased exposure allows for inetegration of out and proud LGBTs, the fear and ignorance dissipates.

          I’ve never been a fan of involuntary unemployment for anyone but I can tell you, I will not be sorry when Brian Brown et al. are put out of business.

          • Wynter Marie Starr

            That’s the real issue, isn’t it? Gay people have always been part of the community. All communities. They may have hidden, or towed the line to fit in and not be killed or thrown out of human communities, but they were there.

            As far as the hate leaders go, they will have no one but themselves to blame. When your only skill is to spread dissent and hate in order to fleece the stupid, you get what you deserve when the gravy train comes to its end. I have no sympathy. Perhaps they can learn some real skills now.

  • Todd20036

    You may be private, but with the religious right trying to force their views into our business, it makes sense to push back. Congrats on your accomplishments and on your bravery on and off the battlefield.

    Are you a top or a bottom?


    • OCW

      He IS adorable in a slightly dorky way. Just my type, or at least one of them…

      • vorpal

        Agreed. He’s totally cute as hell. I would love to nibble him from head to toe, paying special attention to certain areas.

        • james_from_cambridge

          I agree. Why are all our public figures so damn cute? (except Ms. Lindsay Graham). Why are we all so damn cute??

          • vorpal

            Seriously… life is so unfair ;-).

  • RyanInIllinois

    The whole piece is really worth reading. Well done, Mayor!

    • Queequeg

      I agree. I read it all and then sent him a congratulatory email. Even urged him to run for governor.

  • ben


    • lymis

      If he actually had his name changed to that as an adult, you’d be perfectly justified in mocking it. If not, seriously?

      • At age 33 I’m sure he’s heard it all and knows exactly how to deal with the childish dumbassery. Though it will ramp up among the WNDs and Tea People.

        • JW Swift

          If it weren’t for childish dumbassery, the Tea People would have nothing to say. It’s the only way they know to communicate, and the only way they know to make them feel better about themselves (to believe that they’ve managed to cut-down someone else).

      • just FYI

        THANK YOU lymis. Perfectly put. People usually don’t choose their names.

      • Robert Schaaf

        A venerable Maltese name. The guy’s brilliant, as well as adorable. Leave him alone.

    • Jeffrey

      It is an unfortunate name, but he’s probably heard it all by now.

      • JCF

        “I was well into adulthood before I was prepared to acknowledge the simple fact that I am gay.”

        Do you think that having a name like that could actually delay the “acknowledgement”? That having to push-back from the name his whole youth (or longer) made him not want to face his own truth? I wonder.

        But more importantly: WELCOME OUT, Mr Mayor!

      • wmforr

        As a teacher for several decades, I’ve learned that, when you think of a terribly cleaver and original pun on a student’s name–keep your mouth shut! You may think it’s original, but they’ve heard it ever since kindergarten.

  • Craig Howell

    Waiting for the Sadz from Notre Dame’s leadership in 5…4…3…2…

    • CA2015

      Isn’t Ryan T. Anderson somehow affiliated with Notre Dame?

      • leo77

        Yes he’s in the doctoral program there, I guess also teaches undergrads there.

    • BAMinRI

      As an ND alum I can say with certainty that you won’t hear any Sadz from ND’s leadership!

      You may recall that last year ND announced that spouses of employees in a same-sex marriage would be treated same as those in opposite-sex marriage as far as benefit packages are concerned. Of course the right-wing wacko crowd went bananas over that!

      Also today the College Democrats of ND issued a press release welcoming the Mayor’s statement and giving their support.

  • NMNative

    Congratulations on finally being able to be your true self. You are a wonderful addition to our community and my husband and I wish you the very best in your life and career.

  • KenDC

    Congratulations, Your Honor!

  • Pete

    What a great Pride month this has been. And just wait…it will be capped by a stunning victory at the US Supreme Court. Yes, America, GAYS are human beings .

  • Queequeg

    I followed the link and read the whole thing, which is not very long. It is beautifully written, a nice, simple statement that rings true. Congratulations to him for coming out, and in a way that is both personal and universal.
    I just sent him a congratulatory email. He deserves support.

    • gaymex

      Yes…little hand-wringing. Normal, everyday sort of announcement that may help youngsters and should help sway opinion. I thought it was a wonderful thing for him to do.

      Edit…email was a good idea Rich. I just emailed him too.

  • nowaRINO

    After this announcement, The University of Notre Dame demanded to put in a different municipality…at least by the Post Office.

    • just FYI

      While they are informally described as being in “South Bend,” UND is actually outside South Bend city limits, in an unincorporated area, termed Notre Dame, Indiana.

  • CA2015

    Reminds me of a quote by Harvey Milk:

    “All over the country, they’re reading about me, and the story doesn’t center on me being gay. It’s just about a gay person who is doing his job.”

  • Bill

    I was in South Bend area, for a brief visit “many years ago”. It really was a lovely place and within the area another town that I forget it’s name “had and I believe still have “for small towns” and major LGBT population.
    While in the area, there was also a Pride Parade. Then not to e totally brain dead this morning, there is a rather decent and funny author that also lives in the area.
    SO YES, I am pleased to hear of the Young man’s “Coming Out Announcement” But as small town resident myself, I am sure people already knew.
    I wish him well, and it is a lovely section of the country.

    • Phil

      Bloomington, IN?

      • Bill

        Sorry………a town near South Bend is
        Saugatuck, MI……………otherwise known as “when I was there” Suck and Fuck.
        Mind you being New York City person at the time, those CORN FED HUNKS, visually were definitely eye candy. I ended up LOL, in a relationship with a person from Kalamazoo.
        I had already traveled ALLOT, and during a
        little argument when I was in his town he said something—about traveling—-and my reply was who is gods name would ever come to this place.
        The relationship did expand, but ended up not working for he moved to NYC for me. He could not adjust, I understood that. Good guy but unfortunately died in an awful accident.
        Interesting people there………..this was during Dynasty. MY “BLUE SKIES ABOVE” in conversations I heard there, as a New Yorker,
        those people were “doing everyone and everything”- interrupting my watching Dynasty. “Did I hear you correctly” and received various answers. Generally, while watching Dynasty the world STOPPED.
        But not then, those people were “rather active”. I could not believe it.
        They really used those corn fields, more than the Piers in NYC. (SNORTING NOW)

  • bkmn

    That is another nice fuck you to Gov. Putz.

  • i went to grad school at ND, and i always heard good things about this guy, though i never met him.

    congrats to him, and i hope that South Bend/Mishawaka/Elkhart will benefit from diverse leadership.

  • geoffalnutt

    Eek! Unfortunate last name as fodder for the haters. Good for him, though. Welcome!

  • Baltimatt

    A few nasty comments in the South Bend Tribune. David Paul and Karen Flatoff seem to be miserable people.

    • SilasMarner

      Nasty comments too in Indianapolis media forums. More of the miserable people.

  • Baltimatt

    Didn’t see his party affiliation mentioned, but he is a Democrat.

  • even if you painted horns and a tail on this guy, he could not look less scary and offensive. nice to hear he’s doing a good job, too.

  • delk

    Congrats Mayor!

    I almost want to jump in the car and drive across the border and pay David Paul (from the comments) a visit.

    • Fyva Prold

      Looks like all his comments are gone.

  • Irish856

    Congrats to peter… I read his bio on Wiki… He covers all of the bases… will be hard for the right to attack him…

    I wonder if he likes Daddies

    • Steven Leahy

      While I agree completely with you from a logical, sane point of view, many of those people have no shame – won’t be the first military or war veteran they attack or demonize

  • Ninja0980

    Congrats Mayor!

  • Mark

    Ain’t nuthin like the real thing!

    Thank YOU for your service – on and off the battlefield.

  • anne marie in philly

    YAYZ! commendable service too…how many GOP teatards can say the same thing?

  • TexPlant

    Good for him!! South Bend is way backwards thinking and conservative (the townies not the domers).

    • Joseph J Schultz

      As an ND alum and current “townie” I respectfully disagree.

      • TexPlant

        sorry, there are always exceptions. I just remember all the folks in sweat pants tucked into boots at the Walmart

  • Touchdown Jesus at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend gives his blessing. to the Mayor of South Bend for his honesty and inspiration to others. Jesus by the way approves of any committing loving relationship– he never bought into all the Leviticus restrictions-some of his followers have it all wrong these days!

    • Having leaders like him as a role model for the younger generation is wonderful. I believe you’re right about a “committed loving relationship.” I can’t imagine Jesus or God taking sides on love.

  • bambinoitaliano

    Perhaps this is what the real republican looks like once upon a time?

  • SockMikey

    Indiana Student’s (Pete Buttigieg) Work Chosen as Best Entry in National JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest

    2000 winning Essay

    Buttigieg’s essay, which was chosen from more than 600 essays submitted by high school students across the nation, centered on the integrity and political courage demonstrated by U.S. Congressman Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the nation’s only Independent member of Congress.

  • Prixator

    He’s very cute in an “aw, shucks” way.

    But, he needs to find a good gay barber/hairstylist ASAP!

  • Future Senator from Indiana, may he not subscribe to the Potatoe/Potato fallacy.

  • Gregory B

    Nice! All the very best to you, Mayor Buttigieg

  • e jerry powell

    I’m guessing that there’s some passive benefit for him that Notre Dame is officially its own city.

  • Lazycrockett

    Is his last name pronounced Booti-judge? Cause that’s awesome.

    • SockMikey

      Yeah and his first name is Peter, so Peter Booti-Judge would be like awesome-sauce! 🙂

  • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

    Positive message printed in the newspaper, delivered in a lovely package! What’s not to love?

  • Rick James Brown

    “Buttigieg was first elected in 2012 at the age of 30, making him the youngest US mayor of a city with a population over 100,000.”

    BTW – The youngest FEMALE mayor with a population over 35,000? Lindsey Horvath of West Hollywood !!

  • Halloween_Jack

    Dat name.

  • Bert_Bauer

    I just so happened to be back in South Bend visiting my family this week when the news broke. Never thought I’d see the day. The cops used to harass us; now one of us is mayor. As it happens, there’s a picture of him in (I think) yesterday’s WashPo with my middle school girlfriend, who is now a student activist at IU South Bend.