Delaware | Ezra Temko | I'm Gay | News

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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  1. I wonder why "all bi men" that some folks know end up choosing to call themselves gay or straight....

    Perhaps it's because of the CONSTANT barrage of the negativity in messages as the above ones have. Bisexuals can't even come out without someone denying their existence. It's like a straight man telling a lesbian, "You're not really a lesbian, you just haven't dated me yet!"

    Posted by: iwonder | Feb 12, 2009 9:14:39 PM

  2. A out and proud elected official is doing good things for his town and for the greater queer community and your reaction on reading about him is to show you your ass (& not in a good way)?

    Dears, your white sheet is showing, even if it is tinted lavender.

    Posted by: bialogue | Feb 12, 2009 9:50:13 PM

  3. As a 45yo out bisexual, I am not surprised at all by the biphobia I've seen here. I can remember marching in Pride with the bi-contingent and not only getting heckled by the religious nuts who showed up, but also by the MC himself as we passed the grandstand. Fortunately, one learns in time that the silly fags who don't accept male bisexuality really are easy to dismiss.

    Posted by: Rhonan | Feb 12, 2009 10:00:32 PM

  4. To the author of this blog: There's no hyphen in "bisexual."

    To those who don't understand how a bisexual person can be monogamous: A bisexual person who is attracted to people outside of their relationship manages not to act on it in the same way that a gay person or straight person in a monogamous relationship manages not to act on their attraction to people outside their relationship. Being in a relationship doesn't necessarily stop one's being attracted to others no matter what one's orientation is. You make the choice of whether or not to act on it.

    To those who doubt that bisexuality exists: if you expect others to respect YOUR choice of label for your sexual orientation, then respect others' orientations as well. The biphobic comments on here make me sick.

    To those who say that women's sexuality is more fluid than men's sexuality: there haven't really been very good scientific studies done of bisexual men, so we don't really know. Also, keep in mind that it's much more culturally acceptable in the U.S. for a woman to have "fluid" sexuality than it is for a man. To "I'll believe male bisexuality when I see it" - I've seen it. You're wrong.

    To Ezra: congratulations, and thank you.

    Posted by: Bi Avenger | Feb 12, 2009 10:05:14 PM

  5. First let me say that I AM bisexual and have been open and proud of it for over 30 years. I am so incredibly sick of these ignorant, self-hating losers, like the minority of commenters here on this board, who feel that they have to deny the existence of bisexuality to cover up their own inadequacies. Why do you feel so threatened? In my experience, it's because you, like most loudmouthed hate mongers, are either full of self-loathing or just trying too hard to hide something. I know PLENTY of very prominent "gay" men who are secretly bi, but are afraid to come out for fear of being rejected by the likes of you. How sad.

    To the majority of fair-minded gay guys who've left positive comments here - thanks!! I appreciate your support. You've always had, and will always have, mine.

    Posted by: BG55 | Feb 12, 2009 10:18:42 PM

  6. What if I suck dick and eat pussy? Not usually at the same time, mind.

    lol homo-tunnel-vision.

    Posted by: David | Feb 13, 2009 11:55:18 AM

  7. Dear God, I'd forgotten how many idiots there were on the internet. Some people are straight. Some people are gay. Some people are bi. Kinsey figured that out decades ago. Get over it already.

    I'm gay. I'm completely gay. I can look at a women and say "she's pretty", in much the same way as I can look at a painting and say "that's pretty". But I in no way want to do anything remotely sexual with either. But I fully appreciate that there are men and women who look at both men and women and think "they're hot", and be sexually attracted to them.

    And I don't see why being bisexual would make you any more likely to cheat on a long-term partner. If you're a straight man and have a long-term girlfriend, there are lots of other girls out there that you are presumeably attracted to, but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll cheat on your girlfriend. So why should it make a difference if we add men into the mix as well?

    I see an article like this, and it supports my natural optimism and good faith in humanity, and then I read stupid comments by people who don't take two minutes to think or to try putting themselves in someone else's shoes, and I wonder if my optimism is misplaced.

    Posted by: Alex | Feb 13, 2009 3:39:18 PM

  8. This is excellent news, and I'm glad we have such a strong advocate. So young, too! Hopefully he will have many years in politics and many years with Drew ahead of him.

    I strongly dispute some of the comments, though. I am a 50/50 bisexual woman who is monogamously married to another woman. A good friend of ours is a bisexual man, divorced from a woman and a proud father, who quite unexpectedly fell in love with a good (male) friend. They ran off to Massachusetts to get married today. We're looking forward to seeing them with their matching rings on Sunday.

    For us, bisexuality is not a closet. It honors the people we have loved in the past. It honors who we really are. For us, a gay identity would be a second closet. It is not liberating, not a true coming out, to identify as simply gay when your attractions and experiences say something quite different.

    If Ezra Temko wanted to please conservative straight people, he would not have worked so hard on behalf of sexual-minority and gender-atypical people, and he damn sure would not have been dating Drew publicly. He's trying to make it safe for other people to be honest about themselves. It would be nice if some people here would return the favor.

    Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Feb 13, 2009 6:00:14 PM

  9. There was a study done in 2002 by Gregory Herek (The Journal of Sex Research) that showed that straight people hate bisexuals more than any other group in this country except IV drug users. In other words, they were MORE prejudiced against bisexuals, especially male bisexuals, than against Lesbians and gay men. Another study done in Massachusetts showed that, most likely due to biphobia, bisexuals had had higher rates of heart disease, anxious and depressed moods, and suicidal thoughts in the past year than either gays or straights. It is NOT more socially acceptable to be bi than gay, especially if you are male.

    It took real guts to did what Ezra did. It would have been a lot easier to hide, and just say he was gay. At least then he wouldn't have haters like the ones here after him. We bisexuals (I'm 55 - kind of a long time for a PHASE, don't you think?) get sort of sick of being hated by everybody, or being told we don't exist. I'm a bi activist, and I can't tell you how many "non-existant" bisexuals I have met at this point, male and female, all ages, genders, races ... But I guess we are all butterflies dreaming we exist, as Chuang Tzu said.

    Posted by: Estraven | Feb 13, 2009 8:38:44 PM

  10. Rock on for him.

    Seriously though, enough with the biphobia, it's disgusting.
    If he identifies as bi, he's bi, hell, he could well have had nothing but boyfriends, but if he thinks of himself as bi - THEN THAT'S WHAT HE IS.
    Sexual IDENTITY is a personal thing.

    Posted by: Shini | Mar 2, 2009 10:59:43 PM

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