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Chasten Buttigieg’s Pastor Brother Doesn't Support His “Gay Lifestyle”

"We never got over it."

With Pete Buttigieg campaigning to become the youngest and first openly gay president of the United States, his sunny hubby, Chasten Buttigieg, could become America's First Gentleman.

Time portentously named the Buttigiegs “First Family” on its latest cover. But members of Chasten's own family don't fully approve.

In a new interview with The Washington Post, the 29-year-old former drama teacher and first man of South Bend, Indiana, opens up about his rocky upbringing in Traverse City, Michigan.

Rhyan and Dustin, Chasten's older brothers, were outdoorsy hunters and athletes. Meanwhile, Chasten recalls, “I would be inside reading Harry Potter or singing Celine Dion at the top of my lungs while my mom and I were dusting the cabinets.”

When Chasten starting becoming aware of his attraction to other boys, he was “scratching and itching and clawing to try to change whatever brain chemistry was making me the way I was.” He remembers being bullied and called homophobic slurs at his public high school before doing an exchange program in Germany for his senior year. “The further away I could get,” he says, “the safer I felt.”

Chasten began coming out as gay to friends the summer after high school graduation, but he told his family last.

“I remember my mom crying,” he says, “and the first thing she asked me was if I was sick. I think she meant, like, did I have AIDS?” He also remembers hearing one of his brothers say, “No brother of mine...”

“I felt like I just could not be there,” Chasten says, so he left and became temporarily homeless, sleeping on friends' couches or in his car parked at his community college. After several months, his mother called, asking him to return home. Terry and Sherri Glezman ultimately accepted their son and eventually walked him down the aisle at his wedding.

Unfortunately, Chasten was unable to reconcile with Rhyan and Dustin. “We never got over it,” he says.

Rhyan, now a Christian pastor in Michigan, tells the Post that Chasten's coming out was not a surprise and that he still loves his youngest brother. "I want the best for him," he says. "I just don’t support the gay lifestyle."

At the top of Buttigieg's presidential campaign announcement speech, the 37-year-old South Bend mayor thanked his husband, "my love" Chasten, "for giving me the strength to do this and the grounding to be myself as we go." After the speech, Chasten joined his husband at the podium, where they embraced and shared a kiss.

Buttigieg recently explored the significance of that brief public display of affection as a guest on Late Night With Seth Meyers. "If nothing else," he said, "even in this dark and complicated and bleak moment in American politics, it’s a reason to be hopeful."

Scott Olson/Getty Images

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA - APRIL 14: South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg hugs his husband Chasten Glezman announcing that he will be seeking the Democratic nomination for president during a rally in the old Studebaker car factory on April 14, 2019 in South Bend, Indiana. Buttigieg has been drumming up support for his run during several recent campaign swings through Iowa, where he will be retuning to continue his campaign later this week. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The politician came out publicly as gay in an open letter printed in the South Bend Tribune in 2015, shortly before the Supreme Court's ruling on federal marriage equality. He married Chasten last summer and has revealed they met on a dating app.

During a January press conference, Buttigieg described his marriage as "the most important thing in my life."

Last month at the LGBTQ Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch, Buttigieg said he wished the "Mike Pences of the world would understand that if you've got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me—your quarrel, sir, is with my creator."

The progressive Christian candidate later addressed Vice President and former Indiana Governor Pence’s comments accusing Buttigieg of criticizing Pence's faith. "I don’t have a problem with religion," he told Ellen DeGeneres. "I’m religious, too. I have a problem with religion being used as a justification to harm people, and especially in the LGBTQ community.”

Evangelical Christian leader Franklin Graham recently tweeted that Buttigieg’s sexuality is "something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized."