Pete Buttigieg, who finished second in Tuesday's Democratic primary in New Hampshire, says on his campaign website that when he attended a Catholic high school just down the street from the University of Notre Dame he did not know a single homosexual student.
“Twenty years ago, an awkward teenager at St. Joe High School in South Bend, Indiana, who didn’t know a single out LGBTQ+ student, never would have imagined how far we would come as a country,” Buttigieg says.
“But what does our country look like to a teenager in 2019, just starting to realize who they are? What future do they see for themselves?” he asks.
“They see an administration that deems people who risk their lives for their country unfit for service because they are transgender,” he says. “They see a President who, when asked about LGBTQ+ rights by a reporter, joked of his Vice President: ‘Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!’
“They see more states covering gender-affirming procedures, but also see high schools refusing to allow trans students to use the bathroom of their current gender,” Buttigieg says.
“They see people with HIV living vibrant lives, but also see people who cannot afford necessary, life-saving treatment,” he says.
“They see gay nightclubs opening up across the country, but they can’t—they refuse to—forget Pulse,” he says.
“They see transgender people, primarily Black transgender women, murdered at alarming rates,” he says.
“They see a country,” he says, “where they are still not fully free or safe—especially if they are transgender or a person of color—and one in which they still don’t feel like they fully belong.”