HIGH POINT, N.C. — State Rep. Cecil Brockman has come out as bisexual in an interview with the News & Record of Greensboro, published on Thursday.
Brockman said he wants to make sure the LGBTQ community knows that one of their own will be representing them in the North Carolina General Assembly after openly gay Rep. Chris Sgro leaves. Sgro is not seeking reelection and Brockman is running unopposed.
“I always felt that I tried to stick up for the LGBT community, even when I wasn’t ‘out,'” Brockman said. “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 relays a story of a drunken homophobe verbally assaulting he, Sgro and his partner, Ryan Butler, when the three of them went to a High Point restaurant together and Sgro and Butler wearing anti-HB2 buttons.
“Discriminating against folks in the LGBT community has become legal,” Brockman said. “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.”
Brockman was the campaign manager and aide for Marcus Brandon, the first openly gay representative in the N.C. legislature.
“I’ve heard what people say about LGBT people when they think they’re talking to a room full of straight people,” Brockman told the paper. “I saw the things Marcus went through, and that made me even more fearful of what the reaction might be for me.”
Still, he hopes he will be judged based on his abilities and on the merits of his work.
“I really want young people to know that you can be a member of the LGBT community, and it’s OK,” he said. “You can run for public office and serve honorably. You don’t have to let anyone put you in a box.”
Fellow Democrat Jane Campbell is openly gay and is running as an unaffiliated candidate to unseat Republican Rep. John Bradford in District 98, which includes Cornelius, Davidson and parts of Huntersville and Highland Creek.