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Legacy Of Buttigieg Presidential Run Lives On For Reno Gay Teen: Youth Media Opinion

Men hold hands in front of a parade
Lawerence Jackson
/
Pete For America

Pete Buttigieg was one of the first openly gay men from a major party to run for president. While his campaign ended during the Democratic primary season earlier this year, his impact on one Hug High School student in Reno lives on.

Here’s Haziel Ramirez with a KUNR Youth Media opinion piece about what the Buttigieg campaign meant to him.

I really don’t know where my future is going and how I’ll make it there. But what I can say is that I classify myself as a gay teen. What I do hope to see in America is more LGBTQ rights, so that I can walk comfortably knowing that I’m gay and even be with a man, who knows.

I support people in the LGBTQ community because we all have different perceptions of love. One member of our community who I hope runs again for president is Pete Buttigieg, an openly gay married man.

He left a mark on society, letting people who are part of the LGBTQ community know that anything is possible. I know this left a mark on me. I’m not sure where I’m heading, but now I have the confidence that anything is possible, at least partially, because Pete Buttigieg ran for election.

I can be with a man, be able to explore the world, and have a high position at my job, and that’s a meaningful lesson to never forget. Never back down because you’re part of the LGBTQ community. Rise to the challenge and give it all you’ve got.

While Pete Buttigieg ran for election he said he knew some people wouldn’t vote for him because of what he told the world. But he also didn’t let any negative feelings and thoughts come his way. He said if he had become president he would have helped everybody in America no matter what their sexuality. In one of his election speeches he encountered a young boy who was 9 years old who wanted to come out of the closet.

Knowing that Pete Buttigieg would accept his decision, he felt supported by Buttigieg and the crowd who chanted, “Love is love.” This moment made it feel more powerful and meaningful to people who are afraid to come out. Now, as always, sexuality is something that makes one afraid inside, because no one really knows what will happen.

[I] came out last year to my family, and they are okay with it. It made me feel that I don’t have to hide it anymore, but when I was dating my partner he was afraid to be seen with me romantically, and because we didn’t know how to talk it out, we left it in the past and we started walking a new path apart.

What I wish is that people wouldn’t judge and that the LGBTQ community will not be afraid. After all, love is love, no matter what your sexuality is and what sexuality you’ll end up loving.

Haziel Ramirez is a student at Hug High School and a reporter for KUNR’s youth media program, a special partnership with the Washoe County School District to train the next generation of journalists.

Since the start of the pandemic, the program has only met remotely and students have not been reporting in the field in order to avoid the transmission of COVID-19.

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