Democratic Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg had an emotional moment during a campaign rally on Saturday, when a 9-year-old boy thanked him for his bravery in coming out as a homosexual.
Buttigieg, who is the first openly gay Presidential hopeful in the United States, was addressing crowds at Denver, Colorado when the incident occurred. The boy, identified as Zachary Ro, said to the former South Bend, Indiana mayor, "Thank you for being so brave". The boy further asked Buttigieg, "Would you help me tell the world I'm gay, too? I want to be brave like you."
The question was delivered to Buttigieg in a fishbowl. The boy, who attended the rally with his parents, was invited up to the stage to meet with Buttigig and also prsent him a bracelet that the latter wore onstage. Responding to Ro's question, Buttiged said that he did not think the boy needed any advice on being brave as he was already super courageous.
"It took me a long time to figure out how to tell even my best friend that I was gay, let alone to go out there and tell the world and to see you willing to come to terms with who you are in a room full of 1,000 people, thousands of people you've never met that's, that's really something," CNN reported Buttigieg as saying.
This weekend, Pete Buttigieg shared a special moment w/ one of his youngest supporters in Denver. In front of thousands, 9-year-old Zachary Ro asked the mayor to help him tell the world he was gay. I hopped over to @NBCNewsNow to talk about the energy in the room at that moment. https://t.co/QD8RVqQOYI— Priscilla Thompson (@PriscillaWT) February 25, 2020
The former Rhodes scholar who came out as gay in 2015 also gave the little boy some tips on how to navigate through life as a queer person.
"The first thing is that it won't always be easy, but that's okay, because you know who you are," he said, adding that knownong who you are gives you a centre of gravity that you can hold on to in times of chaos.
Additionally, Buttigieg urged the child to not be scaerd as you did not know who you were benefiting by taking a stand. "You'll never know whose life you might be affecting right now, just by standing here. There's a lot of power in that,: he said, adding that earlier he was afraid that if he came out he wouldn't be able to do good but what happened was the reverse.
Videos of the interaction in Denver went viral on social media with many praising Buttigieg for encouraging the little boy.
This man is saving lives on the campaign trail, just imagine the kids having a role model like this and chasten in the WH.— IndyFan (@Maulik_IndyFan) February 25, 2020
This is such a beautiful and inspirational story. I wish I had a Pete Buttigieg when I was younger. Life might have been easier with role models.— Michael Holloway (@Michael46483427) February 25, 2020
At 9 years old, I too had a very difficult time telling my friends... that I wanted to be Batman!— NineteenDelta (@NineteenDelta) February 25, 2020
WTF is wrong with this guy?! Kid hasn't even gone through puberty yet. I'm calling this totally staged! #LiberalismIsAMentalDisorder #LooneyLibs #MAGA https://t.co/5jg354U4se
Buttigieg's sexuality has been a widely covered aspect of his election campaign. Buttigieg, who has been married to his partner Chasten Buttigieg since 2018, recently defended his marriage against allegedly homophobic slurs made by American radio personality Rush Limbaugh. "I love my husband and I am faithful to him", Buttigieg said against what he called Limbaugh's "lectures on family values".
The United States is gearing for elections in November and Buttigieg is one of the Presidential hopefuls from the Democrat Party. His primary competition from within the party is Bernie Sanders, who recently made history by winning the Nevada caucus. Buttigieg had previously swept the Iowa caucus earlier in the month.