Tag Archives: came out

Mayor of South Bend, Indiana comes out as gay in editorial

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg came out as gay earlier this week, declaring in a lengthy and personal newspaper editorial that it took him years to accept that his sexuality is just “part of who I am.”

Buttigieg, the first-term Democratic mayor of Indiana’s fourth-largest city, said in the essay published in the South Bend Tribune that it wasn’t easy for him to divulge his sexuality, in part because Midwesterners “are instinctively private to begin with.”

But Buttigieg, 33, noted he was well into adulthood before he was prepared to acknowledge to friends and relatives that he’s gay.

“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,” he wrote.

Buttigieg, who is seeking re-election this year, writes that being gay has no bearing on his service as a Navy reservist or his performance as mayor of the city that’s home to the University of Notre Dame, the nation’s most prominent Roman Catholic university.

“It makes me no better or worse at handling a spreadsheet, a rifle, a committee meeting, or a hiring decision,” he writes.

Notre Dame’s president, the Rev. John Jenkins, said Tuesday in a statement that he’s “grateful to Mayor Buttigieg for his admirably honest, thoughtful and very personal statement, and endorse his call that we find a way to address difficult and often divisive issues together and without acrimony.”

Buttigieg, a former Rhodes scholar, won election in 2011 with 74 percent of the vote in the heavily Democratic city that last had a Republican mayor in the early 1970s.

The State Theatre in downtown South Bend updated its marquee Tuesday with a message reading, “Thanks for being you, Mayor Pete.”

Buttigieg noted that gender orientation is an “often divisive” issue in Indiana, which faced a national backlash this year over a religious objections law that critics claimed would sanction discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Some companies banned travel and threatened to cancel conventions in Indiana, prompting lawmakers to clarify the law.

Micah Clark, executive director of the conservative Christian group American Family Association of Indiana, said he doesn’t consider Buttigieg’s announcement “relevant,” saying that if “a mayor announced that he’s heterosexual it wouldn’t matter, either.”

“The people elected him based on where he stands on the issues, not what he does in his private life,” Clark said.

Buttigieg said he hopes his coming out will help youths who are struggling with their own sexuality to feel less alone and boost acceptance of the LGBT community in the state.

“For a conservative resident from a different generation, whose unease with social change is partly rooted in the impression that he doesn’t know anyone gay, perhaps a familiar face can be a reminder that we’re all in this together as a community,” he wrote in the editorial.

“This kind of social change, considered old news in some parts of the country, is still often divisive around here. But it doesn’t have to be.”

Buttigieg is a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve and served a seven-month deployment in Afghanistan last year.

No. 1 WNBA draft pick comes out as gay

In an interview with USA Today, Brittney Griner, the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft and new member of the Phoenix Mercury, talked openly about being gay.

Griner also talked with Sports Illustrated and The Associated Press.

She told The AP: “It was hard. Just being picked on for being different. Just being bigger, my sexuality, everything… Definitely something that I am very passionate about. I want to work with kids and bring recognition to the problem, especially with the LGBT community.”

Griner talked to young people through an interview with Sports Illustrated: “Being one that’s out, it’s just being who you are. Again, like I said, just be who you are. Don’t worry about what other people are going to say, because they’re always going to say something, but, if you’re just true to yourself, let that shine through. Don’t hide who you really are.”

Griner, 22, played for Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and was the first NCAA basketball player ever to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots.

She’s an All-American player, player of the year and outstanding player of the Final Four.

She starts her professional career on May 27 when the Mercury play the Chicago Sky.

NBC News anchor comes out, expecting baby

NBC News anchor Jenna Wolfe came out publicly on the “Today” show on March 27, and also announced that she and her partner are expecting a baby.

Wolfe’s partner is Stephanie Gosk.

Wolfe is the anchor of NBC News’ “Weekend Today,” and Gosk is a foreign correspondent for the network. They have been a couple for two years.

People said Wolfe, for a story on newstands today, said, “I don’t want to bring my daughter into a world where I’m not comfortable telling everyone who I am and who her mother is.”

Wolfe is blogging for “Today.”

In her first entry on March 27, she wrote, “Of all the jaw-dropping, head-turning and eye-popping things I’ve ever told my friends and family (‘I swam with killer sharks,’ ‘I jet-packed 30 feet out of the water,’ ‘I scaled the tallest building in Canada’), nothing garnered more shock and awe (and, yes, some tears) than when I told people I was pregnant.”

On the Web…


Chely Wright got death threats, lost record sales

Country singing star Chely Wright, who came out in May 2010, has received death threats and experienced a 50-percent loss in record sales. But she’s still happy about her decision to let the world know she’s a lesbian.

 Wright made the revelations when asked in an interview with AutoStraddle.com if rumors were true that her career has benefited from her announcement. “They wrong,” she replied.

 “There’s the gay community that now knows my name, and it’s a long leap from the new demographic of people who will come to my Facebook page and hit the ‘like’ button to them buying my record and coming to live shows,” Wright said. “It’s a big stretch from those new fans to make up for the fans I lost.”

 Chely said her “record sales went directly in half.”

 “You won’t hear me bitching and moaning on my Facebook about the hate mail I’ve gotten. My life has been threatened,” Wright said. “I get nasty letters every day, ‘I’m through with you Chely Wright, you’re going to hell.’ “

 But the negative fallout doesn’t make her wish she could go back in the closet.

 “In coming out, I had a feeling that it would diminish my wage earning, and that feeling was correct,” the singer said. “And, I am fine with that.”

Wright said that some of her fellow Nashville stars have been supportive behind the scenes but not publicly. They fear that they too would lose fans if people found out they were LGBT-friendly, Wright said.

But, “there are also other artist friends who I never heard from again,” she said. “There are a lot of other people in the industry that I had a friendly e-mail relationship with, or would occasionally text with that I have not heard a word from.”

 When asked to name names, Wright declined.

 “I don’t wanna out anyone as being an a–hole,” she said. “It’s not nice to out people.”