A 19-year old student at The George Washington University may be the youngest openly gay public official in the U.S.
Peter Sacco, 19, was recently elected to an Advisory Neighborhood Commission seat in the District. His close friends and family know he's gay, but until speaking to WAMU 88.5 for this story, he's kept his sexual orientation relatively private.
Sacco has been a Boy Scout for 13 years and is an assistant scoutmaster for his troop back home in Boston.
"No one in my troop knows, except my father, who's the assistant scoutmaster," Sacco says.
While his troop is progressive, Sacco risks expulsion if he comes out because the national organization's policy banning open gay individuals from being members. Now that he's established a life in the District though, he's ready to move forward.
"I think it's a step that eventually has to be made for everyone," he says. "And so, especially with regards to going into this new public role on the ANC. You can actually influence a lot of change, especially being so young and in such a public role being involved in politics."
While Sacco is gay, that's only a small part of his identity, he says.
"My friends know me as a community service maniac," he jokes.
Sacco initially caught the community service bug from his involvement with Boy Scouts and now volunteers with several nonprofits in the District. He's won a number of awards for his community work, including the President's volunteer service award. And he's hoping to be appointed to the D.C. Commission for National and Community Service in January.
As an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, Sacco plans to continue giving back.
"I'd like to focus on the issue of homelessness. We currently have one great organization in Ward 2A, which is Miriam's Kitchen, which is a local soup kitchen, but they also do a lot of case management services, so working with them specifically in Foggy Bottom, which has a very high rate of homelessness in the District," he says.
Sacco also wants his constituents' voices to be heard as George Washington University moves forward with the campus plan. He'll also push for more bike racks and a historic trail.