Ever since Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend, Ind., mayor with the hard-to-pronounce last name and good looks announced his run for the presidency, a lot of eyes have been not on him but his spouse.
Which is a man named Chasten. The combo has resulted in a series of breathless profiles, including the cover of Time magazine with a “First Family” headline.
All this mainstream media hagiography has gone unchallenged until now. And that the story of that challenge involves a Washington Post report done by a feature writer who specializes in weddings, love and relationships.
It starts thus:
NEW YORK — “Are you going to write about my meal?” Chasten Buttigieg asks, scanning the breakfast menu of a Manhattan cafe last month.
He had oatmeal with a side of fresh fruit. And tea.
The 29-year-old former drama teacher has often courted attention, but he has never been more watched than in these past few months as his husband, Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., has emerged as a serious contender for president. It’s why he cannot smell deodorants at Target without risking getting caught in the act by teenage iPhone-wielding paparazzi. …
Chasten stands out among the 2020 spouses for reasons other than the fact that he is a man married to a man, or that he is a millennial married to a millennial, or that this campaign is happening during the first year of their marriage, or that he is not yet 30. He is also the son of working-class Midwesterners, a first-generation college graduate, a guy who took a second job at Starbucks so he could have health care. The life story he tells includes bullying, estrangement, homelessness and sexual assault.
The story goes into his cash-strapped family, his two older brothers, his realizing he was gay and then coming out to his family.
Pay attention, because this is where a strong religion theme enters this story, as told by Chasten: