Pete Buttigieg tells Rachel Maddow why he waited to come out

Pete Buttigieg talks to Rachel Maddow.

Pete Buttigieg has spoken candidly about his sexuality during a one-on-one interview with Rachel Maddow.

The openly gay Democratic candidate for president in 2020 discussed the decision-making behind coming out at the age of 33, while he was an elected official in Indiana.

MSNBC host Maddow, who is an openly gay woman, asked Buttigieg why he hadn’t come out sooner, adding “I think it would have killed me.”


Pete Buttigieg discusses coming out

Pete Buttigieg discusses coming out with Rachel Maddow. (Credit: MSNBC)

On coming out at 33

“It was hard it was really hard, first of all, it took me plenty of time to come out to myself, so I did not the way you did, or my husband did, figure out about it at such an early age. I probably should have, there were certain indications by the time I was 15 or so that I could probably point back and think ‘yep, this kid’s gay’,” Buttigieg said.

“I guess I just really needed to not be. There’s this war that breaks out I think inside a lot of people when they realise that they might be something that they’re afraid of. And it took me a really long time to resolve that,” the Democrat added.

On being an openly gay politician

Buttigieg also commented on how he is coping with the label of being an openly gay candidate for president.

“One of the risks I think people with meaningful jobs have especially people in politics actually is because your job is meaningful, a lot of the meaning in your life comes from your job,” he told Maddow on MSNBC.

“Most people are supportive or even enthusiastic at the idea of the first out-person going this far. Or – they find a way to let me know they don’t care. And that’s historic too. One day the way this will work is, if a mayor is trying to figure out a way to come out, you go to the next rubber chicken dinner that you’re going too and your date is same-sex and that’s that. People will shrug and figure it out,” Buttigieg said.

High profile supporters

Buttigieg’s openness could be winning him more support. Hollywood stars including Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds, Glee‘s Jane Lynch, West Wing‘s Bradley Whitford and Mandy Moore of This is Us are among those to have made donations to his campaign.

Out TV executives including The L Word creator Ilene Chaiken and How to Get Away with Murder creator Peter Nowalk also backed the candidate, alongside Game of Thrones executive producer Carolyn Strauss.

Buttigieg also received donations from Barack Obama’s former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and from James Murdoch, the son of media magnate Rupert Murdoch.