Maine Rep. Mike Michaud says coming out gay has been a positive experience.

The 58-year-old Democratic congressman came out publicly last week in an op-ed, making him the 7th openly gay member in the U.S. House.

“People know me as Mike,” Michaud told the AP. “They know my issues are veteran issues, economic development, health care and jobs, and nothing is going to change.”

Michaud, who is hoping to unseat Maine Governor Paul LePage, a Republican, next year, said he came out to address a whisper campaign about his sexual orientation.

“They want people to question whether I am gay.”

“Allow me to save them the trouble with a simple, honest answer: 'Yes I am. But why should it matter?'” he wrote in his op-ed.

Michaud told the AP that he informed his mother that he was gay just hours before coming out publicly and that he does not have a partner.

“I don't have a very exciting life, other than public work,” he said, adding that his private life is “boring.”

(Related: Barney Frank calls Mike Michaud's coming out important for Maine gay teens.)