Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s husband Chasten specified Friday evening that he and his husband likely support a federal ban of gay conversion therapy.
Speaking to a group of supporters in Austin, Texas, Chasten said that although the campaign had not taken a position on a federal ban policy, he believed that his husband would support it.
“In my heart, I would believe that he would absolutely approve of something like that,” Buttigieg said. “I want to believe that he would.”
Chasten and Pete Buttigieg were married in 2018 and participated in the gay pride parade in Austin over the weekend.
Chasten criticized the very concept of the therapy.
“It’s a sick practice,” he said. “It’s not even a program that is designed to pray away the gay or medicate away the gay, or something that parents just sign into for the purpose of righting something.”
He said that as a teacher, he found that students struggling with their mental health or their sexual identity just needed to be told they belonged by an authority figure in school.
“It happens with a lot of students when they feel a crisis of identity or belonging that they will be medicated,” he said. “So I think it’s time for a discussion like that, which really shines a light on just mental health in this country, in the ways we approach mental health.”
He spoke about his own struggles in school, especially with certain teachers, citing “the hyper toxic masculine teachers” who made him uncomfortable.
“I was so afraid just to open my mouth in their classroom, I was just hyper-aware of what I was wearing, how I talked, was my wrist too limp, was my lisp too profound or was I going to be made fun of or beat up in their classroom because of who I was,” he recalled.
He indicated that he was still angry about the way he was treated by some of the teachers in his school.
“I really wish, thinking of some teachers in particular, that they would have told me that I matter, and I still resent them,” he said.
He said that he felt safe with the “geeks and nerds and weirdos” in the theater program and would likely pursue some sort of promotion of the arts if he became the “first gentleman” in the White House.