Rachel Maddow hosted Pete Buttigieg Monday night for The Interview, which turned out to be unlike any interview she had done with any other candidate.
After noting that she was the first openly gay Rhodes scholar, she noted that he had been a Rhodes scholar, held jobs in the private sector, joined the military and been elected the mayor of South Bend before he came out as gay.
“ I think it would have killed me to be closeted for that long,” she mused. “I just wonder, if that was hurtful to you? If it hurt you to do it?”
“It was hard, it was really hard," Buttigieg replied.
“Coming out is hard,” said Maddow. “But being in the closet is harder.”
"First of all, it took me plenty of time to come out to myself, " he explained. "So I did not, the way you did or the way my husband did, figure out at such an early age — I probably should have! I mean, there were certainly plenty of indications by the time I was 15 or so that I could point back to and be like, ‘Yeah, yeah, this kid’s gay.’ But I guess I just really needed to not be.”
Summing up, he said, "And there’s this war that breaks out, I think, inside a lot of people, when they realize they might be something they’re afraid of. And it took me a very long time to resolve that.”
Whatever the outcome of Buttigieg's primary bid is, I hope this interview is one that encourages others struggling with their sexuality to wrestle with it honestly and then free themselves from hiding in the shadows.