*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
Educator and activist Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, became the target of Republican furies after he led children in pledging allegiance to the Pride flag instead of the American flag.
Footage of the moment is readily available, coming from the Amazon documentary Mayor Pete... that came out last year.
It shows Buttigieg speaking to LGBTQ+ youth at Pride Camp, which uses the rainbow flag as its banner, and leading them in the pledge to the camp as part of their daily activities.
You can watch the footage below.
The youths in the video can be heard reciting:
“I pledge my heart to the rainbow of the Not So Typical Gay Camp. One camp, full of pride, indivisible, with affirmation and equal rights for all.”
The footage attracted the attention of conservative political commentator Matt Walsh, who took the clip out of context and suggested that Buttigieg was teaching children to prioritize the Pride flag over the American flag.
Walsh, who has claimed that same-sex marriage "doesn't exist" and regularly denigrates transgender people, was swiftly critcized, as were The Log Cabin Republicans, who shared the footage and further disseminated it within conservative circles.
Buttigieg has drawn the ire of conservatives in recent weeks by speaking out against legislation he says would harm LGBTQ+ youth.
In January, Buttigieg said that Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill, which recently passed in both chambers of the state legislature, isn’t about “parental rights” at all but about discrimination and control. Buttigieg acknowledged LGBTQ+ people and their families have often been used as scapegoats throughout history and said the legislation would "push LGBTQ families away and into the closet."
Adding the bill would "kill kids," he went on to cite statistics from The Trevor Project, a nonprofit focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth.
Buttigieg noted suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 10 to 24 and that 42 percent of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth.
LGBTQ+ Youth can get help through:
- TrevorChat — 24/7/365 at https://www.thetrevorproject.org/get-help-now/#services
- TrevorLifeline — phone service available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386
- TrevorText — Text “START” to 678678. Available 24/7/365.
- TrevorSpace — online international peer-to-peer community for LGBTQ young people and their friends at https://www.trevorspace.org/
- Trevor Support Center — LGBTQ youth & allies can find answers to FAQs and explore resources at https://www.thetrevorproject.org/resources/trevor-support-center/#sm.0000121hx9lvicotqs52mb1saenel