Pete Buttigieg addressed one of his biggest vulnerabilities as a Presidential contender at a keynote address at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) yesterday (11 May).
In a speech to LGBTI campaigners, the gay Presidential hopeful spoke about his privilege in running as a white man. This being at a time when other blue-tie candidates are women and people of color.
The HRC 14th annual Las Vegas Gala fund-raiser was held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, US.
What did he say?
Donned in a dark navy suit and matching tie, the South Indiana mayor was far away from his hometown.
Speaking behind the glass podium, Buttigieg said: ‘I may be part of the LGBTQ community.
‘But being a gay man doesn’t even tell me what it’s like to be a trans woman of color in that same community. Let alone an undocumented mother of four or a disabled veteran or a displaced autoworker.’
Buttigieg recalled the experiences of historically oppressed groups and political movements that tracked equality.
From Latino farm laborers to black civil rights activism. To the early queer rights movements that fired up from the Stonewall rebellion in Greenwich Village, New York City.
Buttigieg recalled these to rally for the ‘beginning of a new form of American solidarity.’
On his marriage
He went onto discuss his marriage to Chasten Buttigieg, too, in a navy suit that evening.
‘If you had gone back in time 20 years ago, to find me as an awkward teenager, and told him what 2019 was going to look like.
‘He would not have believed you.
‘If you told him I’d be standing here as a top-tier contender for the Presidency of the US. And even more amazing, the look on my teenage face if you told him I’d be doing it with my husband looking on.
‘I am so mindful that every minute of this marriage, we are enjoying a freedom that came to us because of the work of so many others.’
Buttigieg spoke with pride and amazement at TIME magazine featuring him and his husband on their cover.
Something that is leaps and bounds away from what the Democrat could have comprehended as a teenager.
Today, he added: ‘I am ready to use my story, my energy, my alliances and yes, my privilege, to throw myself into tearing down those walls.’
He and his husband held hands as they walked off the stage after sharing a kiss.
Buttigieg campaign so far
Buttigieg’s address at the dinner capped a West Coast swing of sold-out fund-raisers in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Adding more money to coffers that are already far larger than his Democratic rivals.
In fact, one fund-raiser was held at the home of actress Gwyneth Paltrow, and another at the Abbey, a West Hollywood LGBTI bar.
He’s come far from his presidential announcement kick-off. Held in a once-derelict Studebaker auto plant in South Bend, now sheathed in high-tech glass and a home to bustling businesses.