Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg knows all about the great difficulty LGBTQ people face when they come out to friends and family. So, when a 9-year-old boy stepped on stage to ask him for help, it was a truly beautiful and inspiring moment.
Zachary Ro is gay, but he has been afraid to come out. But Pete Buttigieg is a gay man who has been out and proud for years. He served honorably in the military during the War in Afghanistan and publicly came out as gay in 2015 before being re-elected as South Bend mayor by a landslide that same year.
He is now the first openly gay man to run for president and is doing well despite the hate that has been directed toward him. Inspired by Buttigieg, Ro approached him to ask for his help during a rally in Denver on Saturday.
“Thank you for being so brave,” Ro said. “Would you help me tell the world I’m gay, too? I want to be brave like you.”
Pete knew exactly how to respond.
“I don’t think you need a lot of advice from me on bravery,” he said. “You seem pretty strong. 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 really something.”
He then shared a couple of points of advice with his young admirer.
“The first thing is that it won’t always be easy, but that’s okay because you know who you are,” he continued. “And that’s really important, because when you know who you are, you have a center of gravity that can hold you together when all kinds of chaos is happening around you. The second thing I want you to know is that you’ll never know who’s taking their lead from you, who’s watching you and deciding that they can be a little braver because you have been brave.”
“When I was trying to figure who I was, I was afraid that who I was might mean that I could never make a difference,” Mayor Pete concluded. “And what wound up happening instead is that it’s a huge part of the difference I get to make. I never could’ve seen that coming. And you’ll never know who’s life you might be affecting right now just by standing here, right now. There’s a lot of power in that.”
Here’s the video via Twitter:
— Joe St. George (@JoeStGeorge) February 23, 2020
Just as President Obama inspired black children across the country and showed them that they can do great things, Mayor Pete is doing that very thing for LGBT kids.
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