Buttigieg, who is married to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, told Barrymore he initially feared having to “hide” his sexuality when his husband launched a campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2019.
“When you embrace the qualities about yourself that make you weird or make you different or make you feel like you stand out from the crowd, you start to see what actually makes you truly powerful and unique and beautiful,” he explained.
“When Pete was running for president, I thought I would have to hide all of those things the same way I hid them when I was younger, and then I leaned into them. I said: ‘I can’t pretend to be somebody I’m not.’”
Catch Chasten Buttigieg’s “Drew Barrymore Show” appearance below.
Buttigieg, a Michigan native, is currently promoting a new edition of his 2020 memoir, “I Have Something To Tell You,” that’s been adapted for young readers.
Growing up in a small town in the Wolverine State, he said he often felt like “the only gay person in the world,” which is why he’s hopeful his words resonate among LGBTQ youth who may be coming to terms with their own sexuality.
“I thought something was twisted and wrong with me,” he explained as the camera cut to Barrymore wiping tears from her face. “I thought something in my DNA was compromised, and I spent 18 years of my life hating this fact about me. Now that I’ve grown up and I’ve accepted it and I have a fantastic relationship with my family, I realize that it doesn’t define me at all.”
Of course, “I Have Something To Tell You” also documents more blissful times in Buttigieg’s life. One such moment is his first date with his now-husband in 2015 after the two had been chatting on the dating app Hinge. The two men planned to meet for a drink that quickly turned into dinner followed by a sports game, after which the stadium hosted a fireworks display.
“It was just such a good date,” Buttigieg said. “I think that’s the thing that you will know ― you will know when it’s a good date. And I had been on so many bad dates ... I took a chance on going on this date, and I think I knew pretty quickly, because it was like a storybook date.”