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Nine-year-old boy adorably asks Pete Buttigieg advice on coming out as gay

Josh Milton February 23, 2020
Democratic presidential candidate Buttigieg greets Zachary Ro, who asked Buttigieg to help him tell others he is gay, while the candidate was speaking at a town hall campaign even. (xWin McNamee/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential candidate Buttigieg greets Zachary Ro, who asked Buttigieg to help him tell others he is gay, while the candidate was speaking at a town hall campaign even. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

With the sleeves of his green gingham shirt rolled and a voting badge pinned to his chest, a nine-year-old boy hopped onto the Denver, Colorado, stage to shake hands with Democratic presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg.

The boy had a simple question for the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor: “Would you help me tell the world I’m gay, too?”

“I want to be brave like you,” he said, reported BNN Bloomberg.

Pete Buttigieg: ‘It won’t always be easy.’

The boy, Zachary Ro, read out the pre-submitted question at a town hall campaign event at the Denver Airport Convention Centre Saturday.

Buttigieg was briefly speechless. Standing as the first openly gay presidential candidate, the crowd around him began to cheer: “Love is love”.

“Well, I don’t think you need a lot of advice from me,” Buttigieg told Zachary.

“You seem pretty strong to me. It took me a long time to figure out how to tell even my best friend that I was gay.”

The candidate, who came out publicly when he was 33 during his first term as mayor, is then joined by husband Chasten as they embrace in an ocean of “Pete 2020” signs.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten hug each other. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“It won’t always be easy, but that’s OK because you know who you are,” Buttigieg continued.

“And that’s really important because when you know who you are, you have a centre of gravity that can hold you together when all kinds of chaos is happening around you.”

The now 38-year-old praised Ro for taking the stage to ask such an impactful question, and that other people in his life “can be a little braver because you have been brave.

He finished: “And the last thing I want you to know is even if I can’t promise it’ll always be easy, I can promise you that I’m going to be rooting for you.”

The rally was Buttigieg and his campaign team’s first pitstop after the Nevada caucus results. Fellow contender, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, barrelled to the top of the votes, with former vice president Joe Biden and Buttigieg trailing behind.

More: Pete Buttigieg

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