Ottawa Mayor Pens Op-Ed Sharing Personal Story and Stating “I’m Gay”

Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson, came out August 17. He has had a lot of support and “very, very kind” responses after doing so.

What We Know:

  • Watson’s op-ed was published Saturday in the Ottawa Citizen. On Twitter, he premiered the article. With this glimpse, he starts to explain why it took him so long to come out.

  • Watson said he had an internal conflict on whether or not to come out because he was hesitant on how his family and friends would react. However, he “suspect most of my family and friends just assumed I was (gay), but respected my privacy and never broached the subject.”
  • Watson’s social media post has gotten so much love. On Twitter, the responses have come from a range of people, from family members to the Prime Minister. “Your family is proud of you and we love you!” tweeted Jayne Watson, the mayor’s sister.
  • “I feel you’ve done a great public service,” tweeted user Mike Gibbs. “I really feel we need LGBTQ2 politicians to be out of the closet to fully serve, and now you’ve given others an example and lessons to learn.”
  • In addition to all the love that Watson was receiving, #loveislove trended briefly on Twitter in Ottawa on Saturday morning along with “Jim Watson” in Canada.

Watson closes the big news of his coming out with a hopeful statement for the future. “I hope one day, not too far in the future, someone like me won’t have to announce he’s gay,” Watson said. “It’ll just be a matter of fact, and people will shrug and say, ‘That’s nice, and move on.’ ”