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Virginia Delegate Mark Sickles: 'I Am A Proud, Gay Man'

Virginia Delegate Mark D. Sickles publicly came out in an opinion piece published in the Washington Post yesterday. This makes him the second openly gay member of the state legislature.

He writes:

Sickles

My life is hardly a secret to political friends and foes. In my first reelection campaign to the House of Delegates in 2005, my opponent used homophobic innuendo in an attempt to discredit me with voters who, he must have presumed, would be appalled to discover that their elected representative was a gay man in a long-term relationship. He told this newspaper and others that mail I sent out (featuring a picture of me playing with a toddler) was “deliberately misleading the voters” because “Mark Sickles does not have a child or a family.” His campaign manager added: “His sexual orientation is a mystery to us. We were just looking for honesty in the campaign.”

He notes that many close friends and family have known he is gay for decades.

The focus on Sickles' opinion piece was the pre-Valentine's Day ruling by a federal judge on marriage equality, which he calls "a historic turning point in the long struggle for equality in the commonwealth." 

According to The Richmond Times-Dispatch, "the announcement comes as Sickles and state Sen. Adam P. Ebbin, D-Alexandria, the state's other openly gay legislator, vie with nine other Democrats for the nomination to run for the Northern Virginia congressional seat of retiring Rep. James P. Moran, D-8th."

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Comments

  1. Way to go, Mark. We'll get this state into the new millennium yet.

    Posted by: Peter | Feb 22, 2014 7:03:56 PM


  2. That "proud gay man" phrase is so tired. If you were really proud, and really a man, such labeling would not be necessary.

    Posted by: Blake | Feb 22, 2014 10:41:20 PM


  3. Well, we have to have some way of letting the bigots know we're not ashamed like they want us to be.

    Posted by: KYLE | Feb 23, 2014 12:43:32 AM


  4. @Blake: Things take time, buddy. This man was raised to be ashamed of who he is - and lived with that having message drummed into him from all sides many years before you were even born. Saying he is proud is a necessary part of the exercise, of the revolution.

    For me, the hard part is accepting that a gay man would wear that tie with that shirt.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Feb 23, 2014 6:35:52 AM


  5. Perhaps the only thing Blake has come out of in his life is a bar door.

    Posted by: BrokebackBob | Feb 23, 2014 6:07:54 PM


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