Buttigieg says it was a ‘leap of faith’ coming out of the closet before his reelection

South Bend mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg appeared on “The Rachel Maddow Show” Monday and spoke about how it was a “leap of faith” for him to come out of the closet ahead of his reelection in 2014.

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who told Buttigieg that she came out as a lesbian in college, said that it “would have killed” her to have waited to 33 years old like he did and asked him whether waiting for so long was difficult.

“It was hard. It was really hard,” Buttigieg said.

“Coming out was hard, but being in the closet is harder,” Maddow responded.


The 37-year-old presidential candidate explained that it took him “plenty of time to come out to myself."

Buttigieg said that he thought to serve in the military and “being an elected official in Indiana” were “totally incompatible” with his sexuality. It wasn’t until his 2014 deployment to Afghanistan when he realized he had to “do something.”


The former Naval Intelligence Officer told Maddow that “most people” were either supportive and enthusiastic or they let him know that they didn’t care, which he called “historic.” Buttigieg ended up winning 80% of the vote during his reelection, which was a wider margin of victory than his first election before he came out.