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He came out as so he could encourage young and elderly people who are struggling with their sexuality to feel better about themselves. Good for him and the people of South Bend, Indiana.
South Bend, Indiana has a population of just over 100,000 people. It's a conservative town, settled by Polish Catholics. Its largest employer is the University of Notre Dame. And it has a gay mayor.
Democratic Mayor Pete Buttigieg is 32 years old. He is a Rhodes Scholar and a Harvard grad, and he served in Afghanistan, where he was a Lieutenant in the Navy.
"I was well into adulthood before I was prepared to acknowledge the simple fact that I am gay," Buttigieg wrote in a lengthy op-ed published in today's local paper. "It took years of struggle and growth for me to recognize that it’s just a fact of life, like having brown hair, and part of who I am."
"Putting something this personal on the pages of a newspaper does not come easy," he acknowledges. "We Midwesterners are instinctively private to begin with, and I’m not used to viewing this as anyone else’s business."
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