A video of gay presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg expressing his thanks to a supporter via American Sign Language (ASL) has gone viral.
Andy Pleasants, a deaf disability advocate, has been a big supporter of Buttigieg, and decided to create a sign name for Buttigieg, which he shared via Twitter.
“Given his new logo has the imagery of a bridge and ‘build bridges, not walls,’ his sign name is P ‘bridged’ across the chest to B!” Pleasants tweeted.
I just came up with the sign name for .@PeteButtigieg
Given his new logo has the imagery of a bridge and “build bridges, not walls”, his sign name is P “bridged” across the chest to B! pic.twitter.com/2xsd1nQt45
— Anderson “Andy” Pleasants (@pleasantandy) April 15, 2019
Though he’s been busy on the campaign trail, the presidential hopeful took the time to respond a week later.
A short video shows Buttigieg signing back to Pleasants: “Hi Andy — appreciate your support, thank you!”
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) April 24, 2019
The gesture meant a lot to Andy, as he noted the burden to reach across the communication divide often falls on deaf individuals.
I teared up.
It means so much to see a major Presidential candidate actively reach across the communication divide to include those like me, especially in a society where the burden of that divide so often rests on the Deaf individual.
Keep signing the sign & walking the walk! https://t.co/2aeLtZk2pq
— Anderson “Andy” Pleasants (@pleasantandy) April 24, 2019
And he’s not the only one who appreciated this small but loaded moment of Buttigieg reaching out.
Well, @PeteButtigieg, you’re the first candidate for President that I’ve ever seen sign. Bravo! And @pleasantandy I like the name sign (and the story behind it) that you’ve given him. https://t.co/maJfRccdy6
— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) April 24, 2019
This right here is what politics should be about. Inclusion, diversity, and learning how to better serve & communicate with all our brothers & sisters on this . Also, you should definitely be following @pleasantandy ! https://t.co/vr5h9gdSfM
— Laurie (@LaurieinKS) April 24, 2019
Buttigieg signs message to deaf supporter who created ASL sign for ‘Buttigieg’ https://t.co/qAjUqPPD4L
— Lucy Schmitz (@LucySchmitz) April 24, 2019
Between this and Kirsten Gillibrand spending time with the drag community, it’s nice to see Democratic candidates actually making an effort to reach out to American communities that still often get overlooked. It should be the norm, but maybe we are finally moving towards that.