Role model

WATCH: 9-year-old asks Pete Buttigieg for help to come out as gay

Zachary Ro on stage with Pete Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, at the Denver town halll event
Zachary Ro on stage with Pete Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, at the Denver town hall event (Photo: @petebuttigieg | Instagram)

A nine-year-old boy asked Pete Buttigieg for help coming out as gay. The incident took place at a town hall meeting in Denver, Colorado, on Saturday.

Members of the audience submitted questions for the Democratic Presidential hopeful to answer.

The boy, who was later identified as Zachary Ro, wrote: “Thank you for being so brave. Would you help me tell the world I’m gay, too? I want to be brave like you.”

On stage, he also gave Buttigieg a bracelet he had made, which Mayor Peter said he would wear for the rest of the event.

Answering the boy’s question, Buttigieg said, “I don’t think you need a lot of advice for me on bravery. You seem pretty strong to me.

Related: Chasten Buttigieg responds to Rush Limbaugh’s homophobic comments

“It took me a long time to figure out how to tell even my best friend that I was gay,” he continued, “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.”

He went on to offer two pieces of advice, saying, “The first thing is that it won’t always be easy, but that’s okay because you know who you are. 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.”

Buttigieg went on to tell Ro to be mindful of, “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 out who I was, 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. I never could have seen that coming, and you’ll never know whose life you might be affecting right now, just by standing here. There’s a lot of power in that.”

Related: ‘Queers Against Pete’ crash Buttigieg fundraiser, call him “gross”

Buttigieg concluded by telling Ro, “I think you’ve already got it together, so I’m excited to see what you’re going to do as a leader. Just promise me you won’t run for president until after I’m done because I think you might be strong competition.”