Members of the LGBTIQ+ community are taking to social media to share just how much Pete Buttigieg's candidacy means to them after the Presidential hopeful appeared on the latest cover of TIME magazine with his husband, Chasten.
With the title 'First Family: The unlikely, untested and unprecedented campaign of Mayor Pete Buttigieg', the May issue represents the first time a same-sex couple has featured on the magazine's cover since 2013.
"No matter the outcome of The Democratsprimary, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has already won for what he’s done for young LGBTIQ+ people across America," one Twitter user wrote.
"They’re now standing up a little taller and their dreams are a little bigger."
Speaking to TIME, Buttigieg reflected on the homophobic jokes he used to hear while serving in the military - back before he'd come out as gay.
“I bet some of them still go back and tell gay jokes because that’s their habit, you know?" He said. "Bad habits and bad instincts is not the same as people being bad people.”
He continued, saying that he believes in the “power of redemption and forgiveness”, particularly after watching “once-disapproving parents dance at their gay son’s wedding and homophobic military officers take back their words.”
He added: “We’ve got to get away from this kill-switch mentality that we see on Twitter. This idea that we just sort people into baskets of good and evil ignores the central fact of human existence, which is that each of us is a basket of good and evil.
“The job of politics is to summon the good and beat back the evil.”
Meanwhile, Buttigieg's husband, Chasten, who has become known for his quick-witted presence on Twitter, opened up about the time he spent homeless after coming out to his parents.
The 29-year-old, who could become the US's first ever First Gentleman, said: “Being gay was not culturally acceptable where I grew up, mostly for a lack of understanding, and so my family and I were just at a crossroads, and we didn’t really know how to talk to one another.”