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 Citizen.

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 ever was.”

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.