Andrew Gillum, a former Florida gubernatorial candidate, has come out as bisexual during a TV interview with Tamron Hall.
The disclosure of identity occurred during a conversation about an incident in March of this year in which Gillum was found unconscious in a Miami motel room with sex worker Travis Dyson and friend Aldo Mejias, as well as bags allegedly filled with methamphetamines, according to authorities. Although Hall touched on the event, Gillum brought forward his sexuality after it appeared she wouldn’t touch the topic herself.
“To be very honest with you, when you didn’t ask the question, you put it out there is whether or not I identify as gay,” Gillum said to Hall during the interview. “And the answer is: I don’t identify as gay, but I do identify as bisexual. That is something I’ve never shared publicly before.”
After the incident in March, Gillum checked into rehab, though he has denied taking methamphetamines (but has admitted to drinking heavily). The former Tallahassee mayor told Hall that the highly-publicized incident took a major toll on his personal and professional life, noting that the moment was a “wake-up call.”
“I didn’t recognize that person,” Gillum said. “I cried because I didn’t know it could get that bad. I literally got broken down to my most bare place, to the place where I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to live — not because of what I had done, but because of everything that was being said about me. I’m still here, by the grace of God. So much of my recovery has been about trying to get over shame.”
Gillum’s wife, R. Jai, appeared alongside him in Monday’s interview, noting that she was aware of her husband’s bisexuality long before they were married. R. Jai supported her husband. She threw her entire support behind both her husband and the bisexual community-at-large by noting that people have many misconceptions about the sexual identity.
“So many people don’t understand bisexuality,” said R. Jai. “Bisexuality is just something different. I just believe that love and sexuality exist on a spectrum. All I care about is what’s between us and what agreement we make.”
Gillum asserted, however, that he did not have sexual relations with either of the other men found in the motel room. Although he declined to go into further details of the incident, the former mayor stated that he understands “very well what people assume about that” and emphasized that his bisexuality does not mean he engages in infidelity, so the incident and his announcement should not be linked.
“There are men who are in marriages with women who, just because they’re married to a woman, doesn’t mean they’re not attracted to other women, and at any point can slip up, make a mistake, do something, and that is what it is,” Gillum said. “The same thing in bisexual relationships.”