Rachel Maddow and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg are both openly gay. Last night’s interview and their discussion of coming out moved me to tears.
While in college Maddow said she came out and that she was the first openly gay American to be a Rhodes Scholar,
“I had come out in college. I had applied for the Rhodes Scholar as an openly gay person. It definitely came up in the selection process and then I got there and I learned that I was the first American that had ever been out.”
Buttigieg was also a Rhodes Scholar too, but didn’t come out until he was 33 and was serving as mayor of South Bend.
“It would have killed me to be closeted for that long.”
She asked Buttigieg if it was “hurtful” for him to have to not reveal that he was gay.
“There’s this war that breaks out inside a lot of people when they realize that they might be something they’re afraid of. It took me a very long time to resolve that. I did make sure, as a kind of final way of coming out to myself, to come out to at least a couple of people in my life before I took office because I knew that I didn’t want to have that psychological pressure of at least not being out to somebody.”
Buttigieg said that it was his deployment to Afghanistan that
“put me over the top. I realized that you only get to be one person. You don’t know how long you have on this earth. And by the time I came back, I realized,
‘I gotta do something.’”
In a tweet NBC host Willie Geist called the conversation “extraordinary and moving” & Hillary Clinton‘s former press secretary, Brian Fallon, called it “profound.”
I can’t believe that we’re here and having this discussion, not ABOUT being gay, but by articulate gay people in power. Here come the tears.
(Photo, screen grab; via The Hill)