SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - “If being honest about who I am can make things a little bit easier for the next person who comes along, then that's something I'm very pleased about,” Buttigieg said.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg reflects on the impact he may have on the LGBTQ community.
Saturday night, Buttigieg was honored with the Distinguished Service Award by the Gay and Lesbian Alumni of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's.
“To have a presence in the community who is out and proud and leading the community forward in a way that many people weren't when they were around and to see somebody blaze that trail, is really important to our membership,” vice-chair Bryan Ricketts said.
Buttigieg acknowledged the importance of having the growing support system within Notre Dame's alumni system for LGBTQ students.
“I want to make sure that students know that they're supported and that can be difficult especially at an institution that's still figuring out how to accept everyone who's here,” Buttigieg said.
The current LGBT Law Forum president says this event is a reminder to keep fighting for equality.
“Even when we have events like this, there's still a way to go and we need to make sure that students are protected and so are staff and faculty,” Katelyn Ringrose said.
Buttigieg also further explained his stance about the power of millennials following his appearance on "Real Time with Bill Maher" Friday night.
“It’s time for this generation to produce leadership,” Buttigieg said. “As we increasingly are on the world stage, from the President of France to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, why wouldn't that be happening in America too?
While also inching closer to making a 2020 decision
“I think we'll be ready to make something official quite soon,” Buttigieg said.
With his service award, Buttigieg says he feels there's a journey toward acceptance in the Church.
“My hope is that at the end of the day a sense of love and understanding prevails,” Buttigieg said.
Father James Martin received the Thomas A. Dooley Award at the event for his work in a building a platform for acceptance for LGBT members of the Catholic Church.
John Sullivan received the Alumni Award for his work in protecting LGBT rights.