Say What?

Chasten Buttigieg recalls that time a co-worker asked “wait, is it true you’re a f*g?”

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Chasten Buttigieg, the outspoken husband of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, just dropped a Twitter bombshell. In a tweet, he recalled his fear and discomfort when a co-worker confronted him about his sexuality.

Buttigieg, who worked as a theatre teacher in public schools prior to his husband’s political career, has not disclosed the location where the incident occurred. In the tweet, he revealed only that he worked in a location with a breakroom.

“I’ll never forget when an assistant manager found out I was gay in the break room, marched out onto the floor, came right up to my face and said ‘wait, is it true you’re a f**?'” Buttigieg wrote. “Now imagine if my manager didn’t like that about me either. At the time, it would have been legal in far too many places in America for them to simply show me the door. It is time to codify true equality for LGBTQ people and pass the #EqualityAct.”

Related: Chasten Buttigieg just made one final, epic clapback at Rush Limbaugh

It bears mentioning that Buttigieg worked in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan throughout his career. At present, protections for LGBTQ people in the workplace vary by state, and at times, even by county or city. Neither Michigan nor Indiana had statewide laws protecting against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment until the 2020 Supreme Court case Bostock v. Clayton County which ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees against discrimination because they are LGBTQ.

In other words, before last year, Chasten could have been fired for being outed at work in at least two states where he lived.

Buttigieg put forward the story as part of his endorsement of the Equality Act, a landmark piece of legislation which has already passed the House of Representatives. Should it pass the Senate, President Joe Biden has vowed to sign it into law. Once codified, it would protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in all walks of life, including employment, housing and medical facilities. At the time of this writing, support for the legislation in the Senate remains unclear.