Pete Buttigieg, the out secretary of the Department of Transportation, filmed a Pride message where he reassured LGBTQ+ youth ostracized for their identity and promised to tackle bias at the DOT.
The former South Bend, Ind., mayor began by acknowledging how the falling rates of COVID-19 have enabled Pride celebrations to take place this year after largely being canceled in 2020. Buttigieg said the country is still crawling out of the pandemic hole, which makes this year's Pride celebrations even more relevant.
After noting how the Stonewall rebellion was led by Black trans women like Marsha P. Johnson, Buttigieg said the Pride events honoring Stonewall have become demonstrations of the community's "love, humanity, and our collective resilience."
Buttigieg then described how he would use his position at the DOT to tackle injustice by signing an "executive order banning discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation and strengthening all DOT antidiscrimination policies and practices." After quoting Harvey Milk, Buttigieg noted how he once thought his current life as an out, married politician was not possible — and how such an achievement is still an impediment in many places around the world.
"Yet today I'm honored to serve in the president's cabinet and proud that I was sworn in with my husband, Chasten, at my side," Buttigieg said.
For LGBTQ+ youth struggling with bullying or acceptance, Buttigieg said, "So many people out there are ready and eager to accept and support you, including me."
Watch the full message below.