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Delaware City Councilman Ezra Temko Comes Out with a Flourish

Temko2This week, Newark, 23-year-old Delaware City Councilman Ezra Temko introduced and got support from the City Council for an anti-discrimination ordinance based on sexual orientation and won support to add gender identity to the city's non-discrimination clause in its personnel policy. He also got the Council to agree to research health benefits for the city's domestic partners and the creation of a domestic partner registry.

And, on top of that, he came out of the closet publicly, in an interview with the Newark Post.

Said Temko: "I’m bi. I’ve dated girls before, but I’ve been with my boyfriend, Drew, since August and we’re planning to get engaged this summer. During college, I was in a very inclusive environment that embraced everyone, instead of accepting norms as legitimate on face value. I was able, in this environment, to explore who I was and realize that I’m bi-sexual. I always assumed I would end up with a girl; then I met Drew."

TemkoTemko explains what brought him to this point: "Nobody ever asked me about my sexual orientation and I don’t believe it has any bearing on my ability to serve. When I was running for council, I was single, so it really didn’t come up. Drew and I go to public events together and our relationship is fairly obvious on Facebook. I think everyone who would normally know I’m dating someone knows I’m dating Drew. When we started dating, it struck me how many rights we don’t have. I’ve always been very family oriented, so the limitations on our future made me recognize the level of privilege I had been assuming in my life, which motivated me to step up my advocacy in this area. From that, I began to see what states and municipalities around the country are doing and I asked myself, ‘Why isn’t Newark doing this'? I also was approached by a Newark resident who asked me to pursue a city ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Those two things led me to introduce my proposals on Monday."

Sounds like Temko has a bright future ahead of him. Congrats.

Temko's City Council campaign video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Councilman Temko opens up about his sexual orientation [newark post]
Newark, Delaware city councilman comes out [gay politics]

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Comments

  1. bi!? Oh, me too! LOL
    Sweetie if you suck dick, you're gay!
    That said, you go girl!

    Posted by: Rex Havoc | Feb 12, 2009 11:44:04 AM


  2. Dude, you're so gay! And saying you're bi just causes everyone who reads it to roll their eyes... even the redneck straight boys!

    I dated girls so I'm bi... haha haaahaa!!

    I guess that's the coming out process for the new millennium.

    Posted by: David B. | Feb 12, 2009 11:52:21 AM


  3. Let me preface this by saying I'm gay. Using Rex's criteria, I still say I'm gay. However, I feel that some people really are bi. I know that some guys ride on the bi train, but eventually get off at the gay station. I've always felt it would be very difficult to be bi, but more power to them.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Feb 12, 2009 11:54:48 AM


  4. Bisexual through sexual experience does not equal having a bisexual orientation.

    With too many of these guys who claim bisexuality because "they dated girls" it just comes off as avoiding the stigma of being gay. "I'm not really a total mo, I've fucked women"

    gimme a break

    Posted by: qjersey | Feb 12, 2009 11:56:32 AM


  5. Guys, how about "Congratulations!"?

    I'm not that old, however, I can remember a time, not very long ago, when someone this young would never have been allowed to hold an elected office. Never would have been able to "come out". In fact, not that long ago, there was no way Towleroad could have existed for you bitches to down this guy. In fact, there was no place I could have called you Bitches.

    Through my political associations I have actually met people who live in many different neighborhoods within the greater Gay community. Some are Male Gays, some Lesbians. Meeting Transgender folks has been really eye opening. I have always thought Bi people should just pick a lane. Well, it turns out that they don't have to. They truly are bi. They aren't trying to erase a little of the Gay stigma like I thought. They like both sides of the street.

    Some might say Bi's have the best of both worlds.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Feb 12, 2009 12:16:05 PM


  6. Well said Derek! I've never understood why some people seem to deny the existence of bisexuals - it always comes across as utterly bizarre (and usually reeks of projection on their part).

    Posted by: Chris | Feb 12, 2009 12:21:29 PM


  7. I find it rather ridiculous that he's being bashed for saying he is bi. I'm bisexual, nor have I ever felt a personal desire to "pick one". To suggest otherwise is frustrating.

    Temko may or may not be bisexual, but I personally think it's admirable that he's using the label bisexual instead of feeling like he needs to pick one.

    Posted by: lis | Feb 12, 2009 12:23:32 PM


  8. Some unexpected comments there : I wouldn't have pegged Towleroad as a hotbed of bi-denial.
    Oddness.

    Hurray for Mr. Temko anyway ; keep up the good work and the happy livin'.
    Goodness though - councillors that young make me feel mighty old & lazy...

    Posted by: PM | Feb 12, 2009 12:27:19 PM


  9. Derek, bi's may have the best of both worlds, but I'm not sure. I like steak and I like chicken, and I really wouldn't want to be stuck eating (unfortunate choice of words) just steak or chicken for the rest of my life. Thus, I think it would be very difficult for a bi to settle into a monogamous relationship if they wanted to. Since I never had to make such a decision, perhaps it is easier that I think.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Feb 12, 2009 12:31:27 PM


  10. Congrats, Ezra. Don't listen to the bi-phobic jerks here. You're an inspiration, not only for running for office but for standing up for LGBT people in your official duties and proposing pro-equality legislation that can improve the lives of real people in your town. You should be proud of your service and proud of being honest about who you are right now.

    For the rest of you, a simple "thanks Ezra" will suffice, instead of trying to tear down someone who's speaking out for you, in public and not just behind his computer.

    Posted by: DCposter | Feb 12, 2009 12:35:02 PM


  11. For too many hets out there, bi or gay still equals fag. So, Ezra's achievement is significant for all of us.

    Posted by: sam | Feb 12, 2009 12:51:35 PM


  12. Damn, I miss Newark. It's a great town in a terrific location. I only lived there a year, but I often wish I could be back there. Reading about Ezra and watching the video makes me miss it all the more.

    On the bi thing: Having been there on my journey, I have to say that it is not "the best of both worlds." You are accepted in neither world, and you end up with a pale, shabby version of each.

    Posted by: Boxerdad | Feb 12, 2009 12:56:42 PM


  13. I won't say bi guys do not exist... but I will say that every single bi guy I have ever known is either officially gay within a year or stuck in perma-closet mode -- hiding same-sex encounters from friends and family, listing reasons unbidden as to why their opposite-sex experiences are more powerful even though they keep coming back to same-sex experiences, stringing together failed sexless opposite-sex relationships as they furtively sleep with men, etc.

    I'm just not sure I buy it. I've slept with women, I've had crushes on women, and I've enjoyed both; but sex and relationships with men are clearly much more enjoyable and fulfilling for me than with women, so I'm gay. I can't really picture that there are many folks out there who are truly indifferent. I'm not saying they don't exist, but hearing someone claim as much offers very little evidence for the proposition that it is true, in my opinion.

    And yeah, folks who protest that they're straight or bi when they're gay do piss me off; homophobia is offensive, even when it's primarily directed at oneself.

    I am not nearly as skeptical about women who claim to be bi. For whatever reason, female sexuality seems to be much more mutable than male sexuality. As to men... well, I'll believe it when I see it.

    Posted by: Pender | Feb 12, 2009 1:00:37 PM


  14. Hands fucking off, Mayor Adams...

    Posted by: Dan | Feb 12, 2009 1:06:06 PM


  15. i've known quite a number of 50/50s over the years-have had affairs with them (while their wive's knew what was going on, for that matter!) and i have no reason to doubt the existence of 'em.

    Posted by: alguien | Feb 12, 2009 1:16:06 PM


  16. I would consider myself bi...And of course, it is not a 50:50 split. I am clearly more attracted to men and want to have relationships with men. But there is a part of me, when I see Scarlett Johansson, I want to have sex with her. She is sexually attractive to me. Its a small part, but a part that I am not willing to just ignore. Just having sex with women does not make you bi-sexual. I think the people that don't believe in bi-sexuality think that there is an even split between the two, and that is often not the case.
    Oh, and congrats Ezra!

    Posted by: Brian | Feb 12, 2009 1:31:13 PM


  17. Coming out is coming out and he should be commended. He's declared he's in love with another man and chose the label "bisexual" because that's where he feels he fits in. That's everyone's individual determination to make. Good for him.

    Posted by: Jay | Feb 12, 2009 1:36:08 PM


  18. (Sigh) Idk, guys, I'm gay and my boyfriend is bi and it seems to work for us. He doesn't cheat (as far as I know, and I WOULD know) but at the same time I sometimes fear he may wander because he's attracted to women too. Human sexuality seems to be fluid for some and for others, like myself, it's a fixed point.

    I suppose the answer lies in just enjoying the here and now. You can't change yesterday and who knows what tomorrow will bring.

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Feb 12, 2009 1:36:10 PM


  19. (Sigh) Idk, guys, I'm gay and my boyfriend is bi and it seems to work for us. He doesn't cheat (as far as I know, and I WOULD know) but at the same time I sometimes fear he may wander because he's attracted to women too. Human sexuality seems to be fluid for some and for others, like myself, it's a fixed point.

    I suppose the answer lies in just enjoying the here and now. You can't change yesterday and who knows what tomorrow will bring.

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Feb 12, 2009 1:37:25 PM


  20. let's not forget that being bi doubles your chances for a date on Saturday Night (thanks Woody Allen!)

    Posted by: DAVID B. | Feb 12, 2009 2:12:55 PM


  21. The Saturday night comment is vey interesting. I had a college friend who always said, "If you swing both ways, you strike out less."

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Feb 12, 2009 2:21:28 PM


  22. Why is his bisexuality relevant? Who cares what he is. He did something good. As far as I'm concerned, he could be a straight ally who did the same thing, and I'd still praise his attempts.

    Why the obsession? I already know why (this is rhetorical) ;).

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 12, 2009 3:57:03 PM


  23. Let's try this again...and then, never again.

    Who cares? His sexual orientation is entirely irrelevant to what he did, which is laudable. I'd have just as much respect and esteem for a straight ally who introduced this ordinance as I would anyone else...including this guy. Who he is couldn't matter less to what he's done.

    What is with the obsession? That was a rhetorical question ;).

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 12, 2009 4:04:17 PM


  24. I'm more interested in knowing how one plans on getting engaged.

    Posted by: anon | Feb 12, 2009 8:17:03 PM


  25. It's funny (well, sad actually) to see all these "gay men" on here who admit they are attracted to women but won't accept that bisexual men actually exist. Quit worrying about all the biphobes and come out of the closet!

    /Out bisexual for 35 years
    //Come out, come out, whatever you are

    Posted by: Little Bear | Feb 12, 2009 8:55:30 PM


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