‘I want to be brave like you’: Boy, 9, asks Pete Buttigieg for help coming out as gay

WASHINGTON – Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg shared an emotional moment in front of thousands of supporters Saturday when a 9-year-old boy asked for his help coming out as gay.

“Would you help me tell the world I’m gay too? I want to be brave like you,” the boy wrote on a card that was read by the moderator during Buttigieg’s rally in Denver.

“Wow!” Buttigieg responded.

The crowd began chanting “Love is love!” as Zachary Ro made his way to the stage.

Zachary handed Buttigieg a bracelet he’d made and the candidate slipped it on his wrist.

“I don’t think you need a lot of advice from me on bravery. You seem pretty strong,” Buttigieg told Zachary. “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.”

Democratic presidential candidate Pete 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 event at the Denver Airport Convention Center on Feb. 22, 2020.

The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, did not come out as gay until 2015. He has said that he long believed he could either be out or be in politics, but not both.

In a speech last April to a group that supports LGBTQ candidates, Buttigieg shared something that he said he was still uncomfortable admitting.

“If you had offered me a pill to make me straight, I would’ve swallowed it before you had time to give me a sip of water,” he said. “It’s hard to face the truth that there were times in my life when, if you had shown me exactly what it was inside me that made me gay, I would have cut it out with a knife.”

Buttigieg told Zachary on Saturday that when he was trying to figure out who he was, he was afraid that “who I was might mean that I could never make a difference.”

“What wound up happening instead is that it’s a huge part of the difference I get to make,” he said. “I never could have seen that coming.”

And he told Zachary that the boy will never know whose life he could be affecting just by standing on the stage to ask his question.

“There’s a lot of power in that,” Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg is the second openly gay candidate from a major party to run for president but the first to win delegates.

An uncharacteristically emotional Buttigieg let the personal significance of that show after he led the field with delegates from the Iowa caucuses.

“It validates for a kid, somewhere in a community, wondering if he belongs, or she belongs, or they belong, in their own family, that if you believe in yourself and your country, there’s a lot backing up that belief,” a choked-up Buttigieg said earlier this month.

On Saturday, Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten, hopped up on stage to meet Zachary and escort him back to the audience.

“I’m so proud of you,” he said. “That’s incredible.”

After Nevada:Pete Buttigieg left Nevada gunning for Bernie Sanders before it’s too late

Limbaugh’s harsh comments:Chasten Buttigieg: ‘I’ve been dealing with the likes of Rush Limbaugh my entire life’

Article source: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~/618979912/0/usatodaycomwashington-topstories~I-want-to-be-brave-like-you-Boy-asks-Pete-Buttigieg-for-help-coming-out-as-gay/