Chasten Buttigieg shares horrifying story of being confronted about his sexuality at work

LGBTQ

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (L) and his husband Chasten Buttigieg (R) wave during a campaign town hall event at Washington Liberty High School 23 February 2020 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Teacher and LGBT+ rights advocate Chasten Buttigieg has shared a horrifying experience of being confronted by a manager about his sexuality at work.

Buttigieg, who is the husband of US secretary of transportation Pete Buttigieg and helped during his husband’s 2020 campaign, said he was faced with a nerve-wracking experience of coming out at work.

He described on Twitter how an assistant manager found out he was gay while in the employee break room. Buttigieg said the manager “marched out onto the floor, came right up to my face and said, ‘Wait, is it true you’re a f*g?’”

He continued: “Now imagine if my manager didn’t like that either.

“At the time, it would have been legal in far too many places in America for them to simply show me the door.”

Others on the internet shared their heart-wrenching stories of confronting anti-LGBT+ sentiments at work

Chasten Buttigieg’s story inspired others on Twitter to share their own harrowing experiences of homophobia at work. One person shared how a former supervisor asked him if he was gay before he was out at work. He said he either had to “maintain the ‘fine working relationship’ with my boss said he had with me by telling him the truth or protect myself”.

“I chose to protect myself and lie,” he explained. “I then had to keep up this lie and remain unauthentic for the rest of my time.”

Another person said a shift manager “found out I was gay not long after I was forced out of the closet”, and the manager “went ballistic on me, telling me I should kill myself”. She said: “I ended up in a meeting with the owner of the store, who agreed with the manager and said I [was] lucky to still have a job.”

One man who was in the marines wrote on Twitter that he “hid myself for so long while I was on active duty”. He explained: “I spent 23 and a half years forever looking over my shoulder.

“I had to compartmentalise myself.

“There was the Rob who was on duty, and the Rob on Liberty that I never showed other marines.”

Chasten Buttigieg called on the US government to ‘codify true equality’ for LGBT+ Americans and pass the Equality Act

The Equality Act is a landmark civil rights bill prohibiting discrimination against LGBT+ people in all 50 states. The US House of Representatives passed the Equality Act on Thursday (25 February) with a vote of 224-206.

The legislation would substantially expand the existing 1964 Civil Rights Act to include specific protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. In the legislation’s current wording, this would include protections for people who identify under the sexual orientations “homosexuality, heterosexuality or bisexuality”. There’s no news if this would be expanded to include other sexual orientations like pansexuality, asexuality or other identities in the LGBT+ spectrum.

The Equality Act would protect cisgender, trans and intersex Americans from discrimination.

The bill now passes into the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future. In the House vote, congress voted mostly along partisan lines with three Republicans turning against their party and voting in favour of the Equality Act.

However, if this pattern continues in the Senate, the Equality Act would not have the necessary 60 votes needed for it to pass into law.

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