Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, Congress' first openly gay member, on Thursday said he believes discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people is fading.

In discussing his recent decision to retire after serving 16 terms, Frank said he was proud of the role his coming out in 1987 played in advancing gay rights.

“It will be my 25th anniversary,” Frank said during an NPR interview. “I was very frightened when I did it, it turned out unnecessarily. Yeah, I think one of the great success stories in America is the extent to which we have overcome prejudice based on being lesbian or gay, bisexual, transgender.”

“It's not completely gone but the end is in sight. And I am proud of my role in that. I think coming out was a big part of it because reality beats prejudice and presenting people, those of us who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender with the reality of who we are, we give an alternative to the prejudice, and the prejudice loses.”

(Related: Barney Frank promoted a “deathstyle”; responsible for AIDS deaths, Bryan Fischer says.)