9-year-old boy asks Pete Buttigieg advice for coming out as gay

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(CBS News) – Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg held a rally in Denver on Saturday night, where a young attendee submitted a serious question for the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

“The next question comes from Zachary, aged 9,” Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced during the question-and-answer portion of the event. “He says, ‘Thank you for being so brave, would you help me tell the world I’m gay too? I want to be brave like you.'”

The question came from Zacahary Ro, and Buttigieg invited the boy up on stage. As Ro made his way to the platform, attendees chanted “Love is love,” CBS Denver reports. He handed Buttigieg a rainbow-colored bracelet, a symbol of LGBTQ pride and acceptance. 

Democratic Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg Holds Town Hall In Denver
Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg accepts a rainbow bracelet from Zachary Ro at a rally in Denver.GETTY IMAGES

Then, Buttigieg answered Ro’s heartfelt question, which probably took a lot of guts to ask in the first place. “I don’t think you need a lot of advice from me on bravery,” Buttigieg said. “You seem pretty strong.” 

As the crowd cheered Buttigieg – who is openly gay and married to his husband, Chasten – continued to give advice to Ro. 

“I was afraid that who I was might mean that I could never make a difference and what wound up happening instead is that it’s a huge part of the difference I get to make,” the former mayor said. “I never could have seen that coming and you’ll never know whose life you might be affecting right now, just by standing here. Right now. There’s a lot of power in that.”

“Even if I can’t promise it will always be easy, I can promise you that I’m going to be rooting for you and I think there’s a whole bunch of people here who are going to be rooting you every step of the way,” Buttigieg said. 

Democratic Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg Holds Town Hall In Denver
“I don’t think you need a lot of advice from me on bravery,” Buttigieg told the 9-year-old after bringing him up on stage. “You seem pretty strong.” He also gave Ro some advice. GETTY IMAGES

At the start of the rally, before the touching question from Ro, Buttigieg told the crowd he “might have to come to Denver more often.”

“You’re making me feel pretty good,” he said. 

The candidate said he was there to “make a case for a politics that invites everyone in, instead of saying it’s my way or the highway,” he said. It appears Buttigieg did more than that — he made an impact on Ro’s life and on countless others who were watching, and let them know they were invited in.

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