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)