South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg is a polyglot who can speak seven languages, and now we can add an eighth to his already impressive resume.
When a deaf supporter created the American Sign Language (ASL) sign for Pete Buttigieg in a video, the Democratic presidential candidate responded in sign language to express his gratitude.
Mayor Pete's charm and intelligence knows no bounds.
Anderson Pleasants, who describes himself as deaf and hard of hearing on his Twitter profile, posted his demonstration of the ASL sign he came up with for Buttigieg, inspired by Buttigieg's campaign logo evocative of a bridge.
"Given his new logo has the imagery of a bridge and 'build bridges, not walls",' his sign name is P 'bridged' across the chest to B!"
I just came up with the sign name for .@PeteButtigieg Given his new logo has the imagery of a bridge and “build br… https://t.co/DpMBmUf3Xr— Anderson “Andy” Pleasants (@Anderson “Andy” Pleasants)1555351286.0
Buttigieg thanked Pleasants for his thoughtful gesture a week later and responded with a hand-wave emoji and a special message in ASL.
@pleasantandy 👋 https://t.co/nMxGk2u76V— Pete Buttigieg (@Pete Buttigieg)1556126794.0
Daily Beast reporter Scott Bixby translated Buttigieg's message:
"Hi Andy — thank you for your support, thanks."
Translation: “Hi Andy — thank you for your support, thanks.” A Deaf friend’s verdict: “Not bad!!!” https://t.co/I083EJ4xBM— Scott Bixby (@Scott Bixby)1556130029.0
Pleasants even created a sign for Buttigieg's husband, Chasten.
Don’t think I forgot about .@Chas10Buttigieg His sign name resembles a C adjusting glasses given his iconic look a… https://t.co/eqKPX5ZgLf— Anderson “Andy” Pleasants (@Anderson “Andy” Pleasants)1555351374.0
Upon receiving the mayor's heartfelt message, Pleasants said he teared up.
"It means so much to see a major Presidential candidate actively reach across the communication divide to include those like me, especially in a society where the burden of that divide so often rests on the Deaf individual."
"Keep signing the sign & walking the walk!"
I teared up. It means so much to see a major Presidential candidate actively reach across the communication divide… https://t.co/MGcMLjt6q9— Anderson “Andy” Pleasants (@Anderson “Andy” Pleasants)1556132175.0
The general consensus is that Buttigieg is compassionate and inspiring.
@pleasantandy Every day @PeteButtigieg does something that makes me love him more. 😃❤️#PeteButtigieg #Pete2020 #PeteForAmerica— Clara Corjulo (@Clara Corjulo)1556137922.0
@CCorjulo @pleasantandy @PeteButtigieg Welcome to the club! Just when you think you can't respect him any more, he… https://t.co/0WbkhhoPgo— Pennsylvania For Pete Buttigieg (@Pennsylvania For Pete Buttigieg)1556143511.0
@pleasantandy It means so much to me too, Andy. My son completely lost hearing in his left ear when he was 10 and n… https://t.co/NGVrMlCkiY— High Street Team (@High Street Team)1556133826.0
High marks were given from someone who understands ASL.
@pleasantandy @Chas10Buttigieg As a former ASL interpreter, I’m very pleased to see this! Yet another language on his list. 🤟🏼— Fan of Pete (@Fan of Pete)1556139148.0
And Oscar winning actress Marlee Matlin weighed in as well with kudos for Pete reaching out to the deaf community.
Well, @PeteButtigieg, you're the first candidate for President that I've ever seen sign. Bravo! And @pleasantandy I… https://t.co/sGcw0bJ82v— Marlee Matlin (@Marlee Matlin)1556130801.0
As did America's Next Top Model and Dancing With the Stars winner Nyle DiMarco.
“Hi Andy I appreciate your support, thank you!” AMAZING! https://t.co/osdJzxRRkw— Nyle DiMarco (@Nyle DiMarco)1556140947.0
The youngest person in the Democratic race last impressed people with his language skills when he expressed his condolences and solidarity with the people of Paris for the Notre Dame cathedral fire.
In French, Buttigieg told a French reporter:
"To the people of France, I would like to say that Notre Dame Cathedral was like a gift to the human race. We share in the pain but we also thank you for this gift to civilization."
@pleasantandy @Chas10Buttigieg It’s so refreshing to see someone be genuinely inclusive to all people. This is just wonderful.— Howard Forman (@Howard Forman)1556145635.0
@pleasantandy @Chas10Buttigieg Ok Mayor Pete. You are winning my heart and mind. Thank you for being decent and kind.— susanbd1 (@susanbd1)1556142726.0
The "millennial candidate" is proficient in seven languages, including Norwegian, Spanish, Italian, Maltese, Arabic, Dari and French.
He was likely inspired to learn multiple language from his linguist mother, Jennifer Anne Montgomery, who was a professor at Notre Dame for 30 years, according to Heavy.
Buttigieg also taught himself Norwegian so that he could learn to read more books from his favorite Norwegian novelist, Erlend Loe.
@PeteButtigieg @pleasantandy Changing the world, one connection at a time. 💕 https://t.co/HSmaVwyHRO— High Street Team (@High Street Team)1556130315.0
His intentional multilingualism and willingness to communicate with different demographics and marginalized communities shows that this 2020 presidential candidate is well-versed at speaking from the heart.
You can learn ASL too. Check out this handy spiral-bound guide to American Sign Language. Be like Pete!