2020 hopeful Pete Buttigieg and husband Chasten are featured on the cover of the latest issue of Time magazine.
Under the headline “First Family,” the Buttigiegs — who married in 2018 — were photographed outside their home in South Bend, Ind., where Buttigieg has been mayor since 2012.
Time‘s cover calls out the “unlikely, untested and unprecedented campaign of Mayor Pete Buttigieg” — a nod to the openly gay candidate’s meteoric rise through a crowded field of Democratic contenders.
Recent polls put Buttigieg, a relative political unknown prior to beginning his campaign, ahead of more seasoned and established competitors and close behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Buttigieg is a gay Episcopalian veteran in a party torn between identity politics and heartland appeals. He’s also a fresh face in a year when millennials are poised to become the largest eligible voting bloc. Many Democrats are hungry for generational change, and the two front runners are more than twice his age.
The Buttigiegs are also the first same-sex couple to appear together on the cover of Time since a 2013 issue focused on same-sex marriage, The Independent reports.
Chasten Buttigieg — who has found a large and passionate following online due to his witty Twitter feed — tweeted out the cover, noting that when he came out 11 years ago, “I didn’t think there was a place for me in this world.”
And now he’s on the cover of Time with his husband.
11 years ago, when I came out, I didn’t think there was a place for me in this world.
10 months ago we said “I do.”
1 month ago we said “let’s do this.”
— Chasten Buttigieg (@Chas10Buttigieg) May 2, 2019
Despite the impact of his candidacy, Pete Buttigieg’s rise hasn’t come without a backlash of homophobia from conservatives.
Earlier this week, an allegation of sexual assault against Buttigieg by a young gay Republican was reportedly orchestrated by two far-right activists intent on derailing Buttigieg’s campaign.
Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman allegedly appropriated the identity of Hunter Kelly, a 21-year-old Ferris State University student, and wrote a vague post on Medium accusing Buttigieg of sexually assaulting Kelly in a Washington, D.C. hotel in February.
Kelly later denied the allegation, and accused Wohl and Burkman of making him the “star and hero” of their efforts without his consent.
Last month, a far-right columnist branded Buttigieg a “sodomite” and the “king of cocks,” and claimed Buttigieg couldn’t be president because men wouldn’t vote for someone “effeminate.”
And while Buttigieg was campaigning in Iowa, an anti-gay protestor dressed up as the presidential candidate and whipped Jesus while Satan watched and encouraged.
One bizarre occurrence came after evangelical Trump supporter Franklin Graham said Buttigieg should ‘repent’ for being gay, accusing him of flaunting his sexuality and slamming his marriage to husband Chasten.
That outburst led to noted anti-gay Republican Rick Santorum defending Buttigieg, telling CNN’s New Day that if evangelicals are going to attack Buttigieg’s homosexuality as a sin, they shouldn’t turn a blind eye to Donald Trump’s three marriages and alleged infidelity.