In an op-ed published Saturday,
longtime Ottawa, Canada Mayor Jim Watson came out gay.
Watson, who has served as mayor since
2010 and previously led Ottawa from 1997 to 2000, said that he's
struggled with his sexuality since a young age.
“As I look back over my life, and in
hindsight, not coming out sooner was a big mistake on my part,” the
58-year-old Watson wrote in the Ottawa
Watson made his announcement the day
before the start of Ottawa's weeklong LGBT Pride festival.
Watson, who became the first Ottawa
mayor to march in the city's Pride parade, said that he was proud of
his record on LGBT rights.
“But if I can be so bold as to offer
one bit of advice to those still in the closet: Don't feel pressured
or rushed to come out, but don't wait 40 years either,” he said.
“My reluctance has not allowed me to live my life as full of love
and adventure as my gay friends who were bolder and braver than I
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded
on Twitter: “Brave words that I'm sure will inspire Ottawans –
and all Canadians – to feel free to be themselves. Thank you for
sharing your story with us, Jim.”
Watson said that response on social
media was generally positive.