Longtime Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson
participated in Pride activities last week for the first time as an
openly gay man.
Watson, who has served as mayor since
2010 and previously led Ottawa from 1997 to 2000, came out the day
before the start of Ottawa's weeklong LGBT Pride festival in an op-ed
published in the Ottawa Citizen.
The 58-year-old Watson said that he
regretted not coming out sooner.
“As I look back over my life, and in
hindsight, not coming out sooner was a big mistake on my part,” he
wrote. “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.”
While Watson had previously
participated in Ottawa's Pride parade, on Sunday he did so for the
first time as an openly gay man.
“I'm getting a lot more hugs today
than I did in years gone by, and that feels great,” Watson, wearing
a rainbow shirt, told Global
News from the parade.
He added that response to his coming
out has been overwhelmingly positive.