|South Bend Mayor|
First of all, he serves his country as an officer in the United States Naval Reserve. Recently, he returned home from a deployment to Afghanistan.
Secondly, he ran for statewide office in a tough election cycle. It takes a lot to put oneself out there, and Pete sought and campaigned hard for the office of Treasurer of State. That 2010 election was a Republican landslide, and it gave us nearly four more years of Richard Mourdock in that office.
Mired in a reelection campaign for Mayor of South Bend, Pete Buttigieg took the courageous step to come out today in an essay for the South Bend Tribune. Buttigieg discusses his reasons in the essay, and it's well worth the read here.
Like Pete, it took me years to come out, and I think it hurt my relationship. While I was out to my family and most of my friends, I often would worry about holding hands or hugging my ex in public. I was too worried about what others would say or about whether or not it would hurt my job.
It takes great courage to overcome and to realize that the people who truly care for you will never change their opinions. It takes great courage to realize that you can't really control how another person will feel about you. Most of all, it takes courage to stand up and stand out for others.
I've long wanted to call Pete Buttigieg my Mayor, but I'm happy to call him my friend.