Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund, published the following op-ed in LGBTQ Nation for National Coming Out Day:
The three-term state legislator chose a unique way to come out as a gay man – agreeing to be listed as an openly LGBTQ candidate in Equality Florida’s endorsement of his reelection.
Known for his legislative efforts to tackle the opioid crisis and ease reentry for past offenders, Shevrin Jones was out to family and friends. But to be listed as openly LGBTQ in the endorsement announcement was a giant leap forward – opening his life to constituents, voters and his colleagues in Tallahassee.
On the day of the announcement this past August, Shevrin became the first openly LGBTQ African-American in the state legislature and just the third openly LGBTQ Florida state legislator ever. Importantly, he also became one of more than a dozen other sitting elected officials who came out this past year.