2020 Democratic hopefulon Friday noted "some of my fellow Democrats" who "want to see a return to the 1990s or 2000s," but "that doesn't have to happen." Buttigieg, , said that "just as some conservatives want to return to the 1950s, it just doesn't work that way."
Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said he is a messenger for "the idea that a new generation ought to be putting forward leadership because we can't go back to normal. The old normal didn't work."
Buttigieg spoke Friday in Des Moines, Iowa, at the Matthew Shepard Scholarship awards ceremony, which awards scholarships to LGBTQ Iowa high school seniors in honor of Shepard. Shepard was a college student in 1998 when hfor being gay. Shepard's parents spoke before Buttigieg.
Buttigieg recalled his own experience coming out as gay, saying "there was a time in my life when I would have cut the gay out of my life if I knew how."
Buttigieg talked about the progress made in the generation since Shepard's death, saying that "at the beginning of this decade, you could be either in the same sex relationship or married but you couldn't be both." He noted the progress made that he could be running for president as a married gay man.
This week marked the beginning of Pride Month, and many of the presidential candidates are scheduled to appear at related gay rights and pride events throughout Iowa.
Musadiq Bidar contributed reporting.