Cecil Brockman is a 32-year-old state Representative in North Carolina. He was recently dining with his partner, along with openly gay state Representative Chris Sgro, at a restaurant when he says a man approached their table.
According to local newspaper The News & Record, Brockman was sporting an anti-HB2 button on his lapel. The man, who was clearly drunk, asked if he was gay then “launched into a homophobic and obscene tirade, making such a scene that the management made him leave.”
The “ugly incident” left Brockman rattled. Afterwards, he decided it was time for him to come out publicly as bisexual.
“Discriminating against folks in the LGBT community has become legal,” he told the newspaper. “You should be able to be who you are and love who you are and not be afraid to go out and feel like someone will harass you.”
He added, “I always felt that I tried to stick up for the LGBT community, even when I wasn’t ‘out’. I want to do more of my part, to be stronger and admit to the world that I’m actually a member of this community as well.”
Brockman hopes that by coming out publicly, it will send a positive message to LGBTQ youth.
“I really want young people to know that you can be a member of the LGBT community, and it’s OK,” Brockman said. “You can run for public office and serve honorably. You don’t have to let anyone put you in a box.”
And as for North Carolina voters, he has a message for them as well. He hopes they will consider the impact HB2 has had on LGBTQ people and their families when selecting their next governor on Tuesday.
“I want people to recognize that members of the LGBT community are your sons and your daughters, your aunts and uncles,” Brockman said. “You can’t turn away from those members of the community. It’s important for me as a black person to stand up for the black community, as well as stand up for the LGBT community. I’m a part of both communities, and I want to push my community to be more tolerant and accepting.”