During a campaign event in Denver on Sunday, a 9-year-old boy asked presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg for advice on coming out.

A moderator read the question submitted by Zachary Ro: “Thank you for being so brave. Would you help me tell the world I'm gay too? I want to be brave like you.”

“Well, I don't think you need a lot of advice from me on bravery. You seem pretty strong,” Buttigieg answered.

“It took me a long time to figure out how to tell my best friend that I was gay, let alone go out there and tell the world. And to see you come to terms with who you are in a room full of thousands of people you've never met. That's really something.”

The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana came out after he was elected to his first term as mayor and after serving in Afghanistan. Three years after he came out publicly at 33 in 2015, Buttigieg married his husband, Chasten Buttigieg.

“It won't always be easy,” Buttigieg continued, “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 also told Zachary that he was leading by example and could be affecting others simply by standing on the stage.

“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've been brave,” he said to applause from the audience.

“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.”

Buttigieg added that while he couldn't promise that it would always be easy, he would “rooting” for Zachary.