Metro Weekly

WATCH: Elizabeth Warren shares beautiful message of acceptance with LGBTQ teen

Warren told an emotional story about her first marriage, before asking the teen for a hug

elizabeth warren, lgbtq, gay news, metro weekly
Sen. Elizabeth Warren — Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren is no stranger to discussing her personal experiences and upbringing while out on the campaign trail.

But thinks took a particularly emotional turn during a campaign town hall in Iowa on Sunday, Dec. 1, when the Massachusetts senator took a question from 17-year-old LGBTQ high schooler Raelyn, who has only been identified by a single name in news reports.

“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?” Raelyn, her voice cracking with emotion, asked. “And how you dealt with that?”

Warren paused. “Yeah,” she said slowly, her voice thick with emotion. “My mother and I had very different views of how to build a future. She wanted me to marry well, and I really tried, and it just didn’t work out.”

Appearing to fight back tears, Warren continued: “There came a day when I had to call her and say, ‘This is over. I can’t make it work.’ I heard the disappointment in her voice. I knew how she felt about it.

“But I also knew it was the right thing to do and sometimes you just gotta do what’s right inside,” she said, gesturing to her heart, “and hope that maybe the rest of the world will come around to it. And maybe they will, maybe they won’t. But the truth is, you’ve gotta take care of yourself first.”

Warren finished by asking Raelyn to give her a hug, as the crowd broke into applause.

Raelyn told CNN that Warren whispered, “We’ve got it. We’re going to be okay. You’re going to get through this. You’re going to be good,” as they hugged.

She said that she was “nervous” about asking the question, as while her immediate family is aware that she is LGBTQ, her extended family — who were visiting for the holidays at the time of the town hall — is not.

Of Warren’s answer, Raelyn said she “loved it,” even though she was worried the senator would be “pressured to answer it” because she was “put on the spot.”

“I was just really touched that she had the courage to answer that question in a different way than she has spoken before,” Raelyn said. “And that she cared enough about me and about her for voters to be able to open up.”

Warren’s first marriage ended after ten years, while she was still in her twenties. She has been married to husband Bruce Mann since 1980.


Elizabeth Warren will reverse Trump’s “shameful” trans military ban on first day of her presidency

Buttigieg and Warren not interested in revoking anti-gay churches’ tax-exempt status

Elizabeth Warren: Where does she stand on LGBTQ rights?

Read more:

Hungary pulls out of Eurovision Song Contest for being too LGBTQ-friendly

Utah teacher fired after telling boy his gay dads are ‘living in sin’ and ‘homosexuality is wrong’

Trans youth suicides? “Cry me a river,” says Indiana school board member

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!

Leave a Comment: