Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has helped a nine-year-old boy “tell the world he’s gay”.
During a Q&A session at a campaign rally in Colorado, the young boy named Zachary Ro, was selected to ask Buttigieg a question.
“This is a really touching question,” the host said before reading Zachary’s query. “Thank you for being so brave,” the boy wrote. “Would you help me tell the world I’m gay too? I want to be brave like you.”
Buttigieg praised the boy, saying, “I don’t think you need a lot of advice from me on bravery, 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 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 thousands of people you never met, that’s really something.”
The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, warned the boy that “it won’t always be easy, but that’s ok because you know who you are.”
“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.”
Second, Buttigieg told him, “you will 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.”
In an interview following the rally, the boy said, “I just feel inspired by Pete being openly gay and running for President at the same time. And someday, I want to be like him.”
Many criticised the exchange on social media, saying a nine-year-old child knows nothing about sex and very little about their own feelings and identity.
Matt Walsh of The Daily Wire called Buttigieg “truly detestable”, accusing him of “sexualizing a child” and “exploiting” the boy’s confusion for political gain.
“Bringing a pre-pubescent child on stage to talk about his sexual desires is so twisted and perverse that I’m actually shocked, which is saying something because I didn’t think these lunatics in the Democrat Party could shock me anymore,” Walsh said.