South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg came out publicly as gay Tuesday, June 16, in an op-ed published in the South Bend Tribune.
“I was well into adulthood before I was prepared to acknowledge the simple fact that I am gay,” Buttigieg, 33, wrote. “It took years of struggle and growth for me to recognize that it’s just a fact of life, like having brown hair, and part of who I am.”
The announcement came ahead of a Supreme Court decision about same-sex marriage that is expected at the end of June and as Buttigieg is gearing up for his 2015 re-election campaign.
Buttigieg wrote that he decided to come out publicly because he believes that doing so is beneficial to the South Bend community, both by helping people struggling with their own sexualities and also by reminding people who may be uneasy with social change that “we’re all in this together as a community.”
He added that his sexual orientation doesn’t impact his work as mayor, in the military or in business.
”In a perfect world, this wouldn’t even be newsworthy,“ Buttigieg said in an interview with 95.3 MNC on Tuesday morning. ”The sun came up today and I’m the exact same guy that I was yesterday. I’m looking forward to continuing to work for South Bend.”
Read Buttigieg’s full op-ed in the South Bend Tribune.