Pete Buttigieg Reveals the Advice He'd Give His 13-Year-Old Self: 'Just Hang In There'

"13-year-old Pete came out alright," Buttigieg, the first openly gay presidential candidate and openly gay cabinet member, says in a new interview

pete buttigeig
Pete Buttigieg.

Pete Buttigieg is opening up in a new interview about his experience coming out as gay and what advice he'd share with his 13-year-old self.

"Hang in there," Buttigieg, 39, says he'd tell his younger self, during the recent sit-down interview with MSNBC's Jonathan Capehart, themed around Pride Month.

"At 13, I was beginning to understand that I was different — no, not understand. I was beginning to perceive that I was different and not understand," Buttigieg, the former 2020 presidential candidate and current transportation secretary, says.

"The understanding that I had to gather was the task of years and years," he explains.

"I guess, it would've been nice to hear, 'There's nothing wrong with you. Just hang in there,' " Buttigieg continues.

Buttigieg became a political superstar seemingly overnight when he became the first openly gay presidential candidate, after he announced his longshot presidential bid in April 2019, shortly before the ultimate winner, President Joe Biden, made his own campaign announcement.

Buttigieg and his husband Chasten Buttigieg, who officially tied the knot in 2018, became popular figures on the campaign trail, landing on the cover of TIME magazine the month after the 2020 campaign was launched.

Pete Buttigieg and Chasten Glezman
Pete (left) and Chasten Buttigieg. KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty

Last September, Chasten and Pete opened up about their marriage in an interview with PEOPLE.

Chasten, 32, said he "had never felt that really, truly seen before" he began dating Pete, who he described as fully invested in his future husband and wanting to learn everything there was to know about him.

"I remember Pete asking all these questions about, 'What was 4-H like?' And, 'Wait, so explain how the cow thing worked?' And, 'What does your mom do?' 'Tell me more about your dad and the fishing trips and college,' " Chasten said. "I remember a lot of just long walks and coffee."

The Buttigiegs got engaged at O'Hare airport in Chicago — a detail that sits perfectly in the story of Buttigieg's life now that he's the Biden administration's transportation secretary, becoming the first openly gay cabinet member in U.S. history.

"13-year-old Pete came out alright," Buttigieg says in his recent interview with MSNBC, noting the importance of his public position in the government.

"I want to make sure 13-year-old 'whoever you are out there' knows to hang in there, that — not to say it will be easy — but there's a lot of people rooting for you, including the president and people like me," he says.

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