Democratic Georgia state senator Rashad Taylor came out today after his fellow legislators received e-mails from his partner’s ex accusing Taylor of promising men jobs for sex.
The e-mail signed by “J Callahan, Concerned Citizen of Georgia” said, “[Taylor will] use comp tickets and state funds to fund his homosexual relationship,” and continued, “As a powerful member of your house, he is not using his office for the common good of his constituents but his using his office to promote his own homosexual agenda.” Darn that pesky homosexual agenda!
Taylor publicly denied those allegations and promised he would not change any of his political positions in light of his coming out. In a press conference held today, the GA Voice reports:
[Taylor said] “For some it may take two days, for some it take two years or 20 years [to come out]… I serve in public office and try to retain some semblance of a private life. This is a journey I’ve been on,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to expedite anyone else’s journey. It ought to be a personal decision.”
Taylor admitted that if the allegations against him had not been made he would not have come out. “I would not be standing here today,” he said, adding he considered ignoring the allegations.
But now was the time to tell the truth, Taylor added.
“I felt like honestly this was it unless I spoke the truth,” Taylor said, saying he didn’t want someone to feel like they had something “over his head.”
He said before today, he could “count on one hand” the people who knew he was gay. Taylor also said that he came out to his mother and family in the past 24 hours. He thanked his mother for his support and she hugged him warmly after he spoke to the media.
Taylor is the first openly gay male legislator in Georgia, the fifth openly black LGBT person to serve in a state legislature, and one of very few black gay legislators in the nation.