Teen asks Elizabeth Warren emotional question on acceptance: 'Give me a hug'

Elizabeth Warren shared a personal story with a 17-year-old who asked her a question about acceptance.

During a town hall in Marion, Iowa, on Sunday, Warren opened the floor for questions. The presidential candidate posted a video of the moment Raelyn, a high school student, took the mic to ask her a personal question. 

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"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," the teenager asked as she began to cry. "And how you dealt with that?"

Warren responded with an anecdote about her mother's reaction when she decided to end her first marriage.

"My mother and I had very different views of how to build a future," Warren explained. "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."

"But I also knew it was the right thing to do," she added while fighting back tears.


Warren divorced her first husband when she was 22 years old. In her 2017 book, "This Fight Is Our Fight," she opened up about rocky parts of her relationship with her mother when she was young.

"Sometimes you just gotta do what’s right inside and hope that maybe the rest of the world will come around to it. And maybe they will and maybe they won’t, but the truth is, you gotta take care of yourself first," Warren told Raelyn. "Give me a hug."

Warren hugged the 17-year-old while they were both in tears. 


Raelyn, who is a member of the LGBTQ community, told ABC News that she thought of the question while driving to the event from her home in nearby Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She was inspired by conversations with family members during the Thanksgiving holiday.

The 2020 election will be the first in which Raelyn will be old enough to vote. She told ABC News she was drawn to Warren because of her "care for the LGBTQ community."

"It's been a struggle with that, with people close to me. And I just — she's just, she gives me hope, which is not something that I've really had with other politicians, and I've followed politics for a while," Raelyn said.

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