Chasten and Pete, “Somewhere” (“A Place for Us”) Was Written for You.
“…When I came out, I didn’t think there was a place for me in this world.”
How those words, spoken by Democratic Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten Buttigieg, made me cry. It was the kind of crying that slaps you wide-awake.
I read how Chasten, only 18 at the time, knew he had to leave home soon after coming out to his family…crashing on friends’ couches or sleeping in his car. Still, he awakened everyday to the unimaginable burden he was forced to carry — his family’s deep disappointment that their son and brother was gay.
Chasten was eventually welcomed back home, receiving total acceptance by some, but not by others. One of Chasten’s brothers, a pastor, recently professed his love for Chasten, but said, “I just don’t support the gay lifestyle.”
Wait—he doesn’t support the gay lifestyle? That’s like choosing not to support someone born with brown hair, or someone born with a very high intellect; or someone whose very being — from the very beginning — compelled him/her to live a life of religious service. (Say, a pastor or someone like that.)
Dearest Chasten, as I sat crying at your confession, I soon became aware that the lyrics of a still popular song from the musical, “West Side Story” were echoing through my mind. The words of longing and hope for love and deliverance in the song, “Somewhere” (“A Place for Us”) spoke of you, Chasten — and you, Pete — in ways so powerful, so “of this moment,” that it seems the song was written about you.
“There’s a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us
Your place, Chasten and Pete, is with one another, immersed in the peace of the truest love you will ever know; content in the quiet of nestling within the arms of the other; breathing your truth with every breath; and knowing that home is the “somewhere” where you are together.
“There’s a time for us,
Some day a time for us,
Time together with time to spare,
Time to look, time to care,
We’ll find a new way of living,
We’ll find a way of forgiving
Your time, Chasten and Pete, is now…as you circumnavigate an arduous, unrelenting, often unforgiving course taken not for your own good — but solely for the welfare of a broken and beleaguered nation. With humility, dignity and nobility, Pete has embarked on a challenge that he knows (and WE know) he can surmount. But that is only because you, precious Chasten, are one with Pete. You reside in his heart — driving its every beat — regardless of the geographical distance the pursuit of this moral purpose imposes. You will him and the country forward; blessing him everyday with your beautiful “neshama” (Hebrew for “sweet soul”.)
“There’s a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we’re half way there.
Hold my hand and I’ll take you there
Chasten and Pete, in that sacred place of love and miracle that envelops your union, the bullies are no more; the secret, heartrending struggles of identity and purpose have vanished; the fragmented world we share is healed into greater wholeness by your places in it; and the someday for which every living thing yearns is both today and tomorrow. G-d bless you both forever…wherever your “somewhere” takes you. #20PETE20
CLICK HERE TO HEAR THE SONG FROM WEST SIDE STORY.