Connecticut | Democratic Party | I'm Gay | Jason Bartlett | News

Connecticut State Rep Jason Bartlett: I'm Gay

Jason Bartlett, a Connecticut Democrat who represents consitutents in Bethel, Redding and Danbury, came out of the closet today in an interview with the News-Times.

AjsonbartlettSaid Bartlett: "For me the decision came down to why not now. To me this is about having a conversation with my larger family - the people of Greater Danbury who voted for me. I've always considered my life private. But at the same time we are also living in a digital age and I'm in the public eye. People are always interested in you and your family."

The paper adds: "The lawmaker added that while he's always tried to keep his personal life private, there have been rumors from time to time about his sexual orientation on web sites and innuendoes during prior political campaigns. Bartlett, a self-employed businessman who grew up in Redding, was first elected into office two years ago."

The Victory Fund notes that Bartlett's declaration now makes him the nation's first and only openly gay African American state legislator.

Bartlett announces publicly he's gay [news-times]

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  1. I really hate the "I wanted to keep my private life private" meme from gay politicians. It just sounds like an admission that he is something (gay) or is doing something (in a relationship) that he felt should be hidden from the electorate. Something that NO straight politician would feel a need to hide; in fact they CROW about at every opportunity. It's very clear that Americans consider a politician's spouse, family life etc. important things to know about when they choose a representative. Why should gay politicians act as if that doesn't apply to them?

    If you were elected by people who didn't know you were gay and you want to come out later, just be honest. Tell the people that you kept it from them because you felt they wouldn't accept you or vote for you or because you feel uncomfortable about people knowing you are gay. Don't try to wrap it all up in some righteous sounding clap about private life being private.

    It makes it sound all the more shameful that he says he only came out because there were "rumors" (a word that is loaded with sinister innuendo) or for fear that someone might out him.

    I look forward to the day when politicians don't have "I am a gay American" press releases but rather are out simply because they were never "in". When their opponent is going on and on about his/her spouse or family the gay politician will do the same.

    Then if someone asks, "Why don't you just keep your private life private?" the gay politician can honestly answer back, "The same reason my opponent doesn't and isn't expected to."

    Having said all that, CONGRATS to Mr. Bartlett on his taking this step.

    Posted by: Zeke | Feb 19, 2008 1:23:35 PM

  2. Does anyone else think he looks an awful lot like Jeff Gannon?

    Posted by: Zeke | Feb 19, 2008 1:28:10 PM

  3. No Zeke. He has a soul, whereas "Gannon" has nothing but a gaping void.

    Knowing the fact that someone is gay tells nothign about their "private life." Unless he chooses to discuss it at length we have no way of knowing anything about Mr. Brtlett's sexual history or romantic life or what he likes to do in bed. Those are private matters. The mere fact of gayness shouldn't be.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Feb 19, 2008 1:40:36 PM

  4. gay face!

    Posted by: ken | Feb 19, 2008 7:04:23 PM

  5. DAVID, you're right on both accounts.

    Posted by: Zeke | Feb 19, 2008 7:11:28 PM

  6. When I moved from a blue state (Oregon) to a red one (Indiana) and began a new job, I hesitated to tell anyone I was in a relationship with a woman. I merely told people I was divorced and living with my best friend and her four kids. As time went on, though, I slowly came out to my coworkers, and have had no repercussions. Some people have been very cool, in fact, and have come to me to ask me some very interesting questions! When someone asked me why I didn't tell everyone right away, I said, "It's not that I was ashamed of it; I just wanted to be judged on my own merits first. That way, if anyone changed how they acted toward me, then I'd know they were homophobic." Now when there's a function, everyone wants me to bring my girlfriend.
    Good luck to Mr. Bartlett!

    Posted by: devilgirl | Feb 19, 2008 8:26:19 PM

  7. So brave Bartlett is. Actually, we all aprreciate the one who can face the real onself. my bisexual friends at and i are always are proud of what we are. we can also come out to tell us proudly "hey,we are bisexual" as we also have a love and honest heart.

    Posted by: susieran | Feb 20, 2008 4:51:55 AM

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