A moving, hopeful, and refreshingly candid memoir by the husband of former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg about growing up gay in his small Midwestern town, his relationship with Pete, and his hope for America’s future.
Throughout the past year, teacher Chasten Glezman Buttigieg has emerged on the national stage, having left his classroom in South Bend, Indiana, to travel cross-country in support of his husband, former mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Pete’s groundbreaking presidential campaign. Through Chasten’s joyful, witty social media posts, the public gained a behind-the-scenes look at his life with Pete on the trail—moments that might have ranged from the mundane to the surprising, but that were always heartfelt.
Chasten has overcome a multitude of obstacles to get here. In this moving, uplifting memoir, he recounts his journey to finding acceptance as a gay man. He recalls his upbringing in rural Michigan, where he knew he was different, where indeed he felt different from his father and brothers. He recounts his coming out and how he’s healed from revealing his secret to his family, friends, community, and the world. And he tells the story of meeting his boyfriend, whom he would marry and who would eventually become a major Democratic leader.
With unflinching honesty, unflappable courage, and great warmth, Chasten Buttigieg relays his experience of growing up in America and embracing his true self, while inspiring others to do the same.
About the Author
Chasten Glezman Buttigieg was born and raised in Traverse City, Michigan. A thespian, two-time 4-H blue-ribboner, and decorated member of the high school bowling team, he received his bachelor’s degree in theater and global studies from the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire and his master’s in education from DePaul University. He lives in South Bend, Indiana, with his husband, Pete, and their two rescue dogs. I Have Something to Tell You is his first book.
"[Buttigieg's] book reveals an emotional honesty about his life story, which includes sexual assault, homelessness, estrangement from his family of origin and bullying. His candor is refreshing, and it extends the success he had in humanizing his husband on the campaign trail. . . . Chasten Buttigieg's story is powerful and inspiring." —The Washington Post
“I Have Something to Tell You is an inspiring story about Chasten’s journey of self-discovery. On the campaign trail, I saw the power of his voice to help reshape the political climate of America. While recounting his moments coming to terms with his true self, he inspires others to do the same. This must-read memoir is a refreshing voice that gives hope to a new generation of political leaders.” —Dr. Jill Biden
“Chasten Buttigieg is a transformative political spouse, just as his husband was a transformative candidate. His life story is a fascinating one, and he approaches his unique, head-spinning experience with humor, heart, and humility. Something tells me we’ll be seeing much more of him in the future.” —Katie Couric
“Chasten Buttigieg’s I Have Something to Tell You highlights how one person’s story and active engagement in fighting for change can be so critical in mobilizing others to see themselves in their future. Chasten’s wit, honesty, and sincerity shine throughout this book, as he tells a story that is both his own yet familiar to so many people across the country. And it reminds us that by telling our stories and showing up for one another, we can empower others to find value in telling their stories as well.” —Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign
“I Have Something to Tell You is an inspiring, emotional, surprisingly candid journey from rural Michigan’s fishing holes to some of the most influential spaces in American politics. Chasten's story is a testament to the mighty tools our personal struggles can bestow, and a timely example of how we might use those tools to help build a better, stronger, fairer future.” —Dustin Lance Black
“Chasten fearlessly recounts his story—which is simultaneously relatable and historic. It’s a great read, authentic and unapologetic in a way that will mean a lot to an entire generation of kids who will inevitably, wonderfully, see themselves in him.” —Kal Penn
“Chasten Buttigieg has written a coming-of-age story for our times. One need not care about politics or campaigns to appreciate this raw, honest account of one man’s journey from a gay boy afraid of being discovered to a symbol of hope for countless Americans.” —Connie Schultz, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Daughters of Erietown
"Witty and sharp, mischievous and no-nonsense, and pointedly political. . . . Chasten writes candidly about contemplating suicide as a gay teenager, the intensity of participating in a history-making presidential campaign, and the long-lasting effects of sexual assault. . . . Chasten isn't just married to a gifted politician. He's become one himself." —The Daily Beast
"The title is appropriate: Buttigieg does indeed have something – many things, from the hilarious to harrowing – to tell us that go beyond his prolific Twitter account. The book covers his upbringing in Traverse City, Michigan; his senior year of high school in Germany; coming out; stints at multiple universities; teaching; moving to South Bend; and a presidential campaign. And that's barely the half of it." —USA Today
"In his new memoir I Have Something to Tell You, Buttigieg opens up about being adored and reviled online andhis true motivations. He also offers a glimpse into the day-to-day side of his very public relationship, which in quarantine has involved a lot fewer public rallies and a lot more long dinners and little love notes left around their South Bend, Indiana home." —ELLE
“With a new book, Chasten opens up about his life before he met his husband and the presidential campaign that made them both famous . . . marbled with memoir and politics.” —People
"Best known as the husband of erstwhile presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, Chasten Buttigieg proves that he is very much his own man in this arresting memoir. . . . [He] records, in fascinating detail, the challenge and occasional lunacy of the campaign trail. Insightful and never dull, this smoothly written book is sure to attract a wide readership. Near its end, Chasten writes, 'I want to do my best to keep contributing to a kinder, more welcoming America.' With this book, he has made a splendid start." —Booklist (starred)
“An engrossing and deeply inspiring memoir, especially recommended to young readers grappling with insecurity issues.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)