Pete Buttigieg: I Once Would Have Taken a ‘Pill’ to Stop Being Gay

Democratic presidential hopeful Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (R) speaks to Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg as he drinks water during a break in the third Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by ABC News in partnership with Univision at Texas Southern University in Houston, …
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Appearing Monday evening at a CNN town hall event in South Carolina, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg said he once would have taken a “pill” to change his orientation from gay to straight, but he no longer feels that way because of his “amazing marriage” to husband Chasten Buttigieg.

A partial transcript is as follows: 

DON LEMON: I’m always surprised when people come up to me as a gay man and say, “You know, inspire me.” I’m always taken aback by that. What was that like for you?

PETE BUTTIGIEG: Yeah, it was really emotional. Also extraordinary, because I met people who have such a sense of who they are so much earlier in life than I did. I was wrestling with this well into my twenties. If there was a pill that I could take and not be gay anymore, I would’ve jumped on it.

And thank God I didn’t, because then I would not have the amazing marriage I have to Chasten. When I think about the effect that this campaign may be having on people — look, I’m not running to be the first gay president or the president of the gay United States. I’m out here to serve everybody.


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