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WATCH: “Conservative Republican” state rep. comes out as gay on video

Joshua Higginbotham
Joshua Higginbotham (Photo: Twitter)

A Conservative, GOP lawmaker came out as gay on a video posted to his Twitter account on Sunday night.

Joshua Higginbotham, 24, is a member of the House of Delegates of West Virginia. The House has a large Republican majority. Higginbotham was first elected in 2016, aged just 19. At the time, he was the youngest lawmaker in the state. He resides in Poca and represents District 13.

“I’m gay,” he said on Twitter. “I’ve wanted to tell you this for many years, but I couldn’t be public like I wanted because there were still a few people in my family who didn’t know yet—now they do. So now I’m telling you, too.”

In the video, Higginbotham says he had been worried about telling some members of his family, fearful they may disown him.

“They didn’t. We’re all good. They’re 100% supportive of me, and we made a decision as a family to be more open about it and to make it public because there’s nothing wrong with it. I’m not ashamed of it. I’m not embarrassed by it. It’s just part of who I am.”

Related: US Olympic figure skater Jason Brown comes out as gay in Pride Month message

Higginbotham is a Presbyterian. He went on to say that he believes God still loves him “no matter what.”

In a second tweet, he said, “It’s ok to be gay and Christian. It’s ok to be gay and a conservative Republican official in West Virginia. My family accepts me. My friends accept me. Now I’m asking you to accept me as well.”

Higginbotham has previously been vocal in his support of Donald Trump.

Only last week, he was posting support for the education offered by private Baptist schools.

Despite describing himself as a “Conservative Republican”, on other issues he appears more socially liberal. In February, he announced he was the lead sponsor of the Fairness Act, to advance LGBTQ rights in the state.

Reaction to his coming out has been mixed. Some, predictably, have questioned why he felt the need to make an announcement. Others have welcomed his statement but not his politics.

Related: Reality star Colton Underwood comes out as gay