'Give me a hug': Elizabeth Warren shares tearful moment with LGBT+ teenager at rally
2020 hopeful reveals personal story and gives young voter a warm embrace during touching moment
The Massachusetts Democrat spoke in Marion, Iowa on Sunday night when she was asked about acceptance by the 17-year-old, who reportedly identifies as part of the LGBT+ community.
“I was wondering if there was ever a time in your life where somebody you really looked up to maybe didn’t accept you as much,” asked Raelyn, who requested to only be referred to by her first name, “and how you dealt with that?”
Raelyn choked back tears as she posed the question to Ms Warren, who took a pause before sharing a story about her own struggle for acceptance from her mother at a younger age.
“Yeah … My mother and I had very different views of how to build a future”, the senator replied. “She wanted me to marry well, and I really tried, and it just didn’t work out. And there came a day when I had to call her and say, this is over. I can’t make it work. And I heard the disappointment in her voice. I knew how she felt about it.”
She added: “But I knew it was the right thing to do.”
The Democrat has previously detailed similar conflicts she had with her mother, writing about a disagreement the two had over college in her 2017 book titled This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class.
Ms Warren divorced her first husband after reportedly giving up a college scholarship in order to be with him and raising their two children. She has been with her current husband, Bruce Mann, for 35 years.
“Sometimes you just gotta do what’s right inside and hope that maybe the rest of the world will come around to it”, she told Raelyn on Sunday. “And maybe they will and maybe they won’t, but the truth is, you gotta take care of yourself first.”
Ms Warren then began walking across the stage towards the 17-year-old before saying into the microphone: “Give me a hug.”
The two embraced as Ms Warren appeared to say a few words into Raelyn’s shoulders. The teen could be seen with tears streaming down her face as she held onto the senator for a moment.
Raelyn later told ABC News she was drawn to Ms Warren’s campaign because the candidate “actually cares about the people that she talks about” and “genuinely cares about what she's saying”.
“What got me involved with her was her care for the LGBTQ community”, the teen said. “She gives me hope, which is not something that I've really had with other politicians, and I've followed politics for a while.”