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Chasten Buttigieg Reveals The Difficulty His Family Has With Accepting His Sexuality

The Feels

Chasten Buttigieg has won the hearts of tons of people as his husband, Pete Buttigieg, campaigns across the nation for the presidency.

People have fallen for Chasten's charisma, his intellect, his "realness" and his warmth.


Recently, Chasten opened up to The Washington Post about how this new-found popularity has affected him and how that popularity hasn't exactly translated to his family life.

As far as potential "first spouses" go, Chasten is unique. He's still in his twenties, the campaign is happening in the first year of his marriage, he is the first in his family to graduate from college and he and Pete are a same-sex couple.

Chasten Buttigieg is a story of firsts.

One of the major firsts in his life has to do with his family. Chasten is the first member of the LGBT+ community in his working-class, mid-western, conservative Christian family. Coming out didn't come so easily to him, but Chasten Buttigieg insists nobody was entirely surprised.

He told The Washington Post that he was entirely different from his two older brothers his whole life. They were athletes; Chasten preferred reading, theater, and Celine Dion ballads.

In their small High School, about 500 students total, there were no openly LGBT+ students - but that didn't prevent Chasten from standing out enough to be bullied, called homophobic slurs and get flung around by his backpack in physical attacks.

Eventually, Chasten applied to an exchange program that sent him to live in Germany for a brief period of time.

It was there that he finally confessed that he had been:

"scratching and itching and clawing to try to change whatever brain chemistry was making me the way I was."

Rather than reject him, the friends he made in Germany just gave him a word to go with how he was feeling - gay. Chasten Buttigieg accepted his homosexuality for the first time while in Germany. He knew it would change his whole world back home.

He wasn't wrong.

When he told his friends, they mostly responded by telling him that they loved him. However, there was a sharp divide in that love. Some loved him just the way he was, but others loved him by telling him he should turn to God to fix him.

That sentiment was later echoed in his family by his brothers, but we will get there.

First, he told his parents. He sat them down in the living room and handed them a letter filled with words he couldn't bring himself to say aloud.

After reading it, his mother's response shocked him.

"I remember my mom crying, and the first thing she asked me was if I was sick. I think she meant, like, did I have AIDS?"

His father opted for silence and Chasten spent what felt like ages getting the cold shoulder from his once warm and loving family.

Then he heard his brother utter the words that convinced him he wasn't safe at home:

"No brother of mine …"

At that point, he made the difficult decision to leave, feeling safer homeless than he did with his family. Chasten spent time couch surfing or sleeping in his car in the parking lot of his university.

It took months, but eventually his parents asked him to come back home. Their next conversations on his sexuality clearly went better than their first.

When Chasten and Pete fell in love, his parents were thrilled and proudly walked Chasten down the aisle to his future husband.

That loving acceptance hasn't come from his brothers, though. According to Chasten they just never got past it.

To this day Chasten has no relationship with either of his older siblings. One declined to be interviewed for The Washington Post piece.

The other, Rhys, who is now a Christian minister in Michigan admitted that Chasten coming out was not at all a surprise. Everyone had known since childhood.

However, knowing Chasten was born this way didn't mean the minister could accept it.

He simply stated:

"I want the best for him. I just don't support the gay lifestyle."