Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the first openly gay candidate to mount a major presidential campaign, and if he wins the presidency, his husband would be the White House's inaugural first gentleman. But given the general level of interest in first spouses, you might be wondering, what does Chasten Buttigieg do? The 30-year-old is a teacher, but he's also been a key figure in his husband's campaign for president.
When his husband Pete announced his presidential bid, Chasten Buttigieg, né Glezman, left his job as a humanities and drama teacher at Montessori Academy to join his husband on the campaign trail, per The Washington Post. He hasn't completely abandoned his passion for theater and education though; he has been working at the South Bend Civic Theatre as its director of curriculum since January 2019.
Theater was an early passion for Buttigieg, who received his bachelor's degree in theater and global studies from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire in 2011. After graduating, Buttigieg spent three years as a teaching artist at a children's theater called First Stage in Milwaukee — and he's also a longtime improv comedian, IndyStar reported. According to The Washington Post, Buttigieg worked 20 to 30 hours per week at Starbucks in order to get health insurance while simultaneously teaching theater. Buttigieg went on obtain a Master of Education in curriculum studies from DePaul University in Chicago. While living in Chicago, Buttigieg also worked as a substitute teacher for Chicago Public Schools — and in 2015, he met his future husband on a dating app called Hinge.
In 2016, Buttigieg relocated to South Bend, where Pete was still mayor at the time. According to Oprah Magazine, Buttigieg became a junior high teacher at Montessori Academy in Mishawaka, Indiana, teaching humanities and drama. Then, in 2018, Pete and Chasten Buttigieg got married at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. James in South Bend, per The New York Times — and the following year, Pete announced that he would be running for president in 2020.
Chasten Buttigieg has become something of a celebrity both online and on the campaign trail. On Twitter, he regularly posts inspirational tips, advocates for LGBTQ youth, quips about funny moments, and even shares photos of the two dogs he and his husband share. In fact, the dogs — Truman and Buddy Buttigieg — have a Twitter page of their own.
When he's not busy inspiring his social media followers, Chasten Buttigieg is on the campaign trail with his husband, often headlining fundraisers and speaking at rallies. According to Politico, Buttigieg has appeared at a number of events on his own, including at ribbon-cutting ceremonies for new field offices and an overseas fundraising trip to visit Americans living in London. Buttigieg's presence on the campaign trail has been a vital part of his husband's draw as a presidential candidate, Politico reported, as he sheds light on what having a first gentleman in the White House might look like.