California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday announced that he had nominated Martin J. Jenkins to the California Supreme Court.

If confirmed, Jenkins would be the first openly gay and third Black man to serve on the state's highest court.

“Anyone who knows me knows my identity has been as a gay man, perhaps the greatest challenge of my life,” Jenkins said during the announcement. “It has not been easy. But I want to say to those young people today who may be watching … that I am not here in spite of the struggle, I am here because of the struggle. It is deep in my character, afforded me sensibilities about the world and people who are not so willing to accept that people are able to love differently than they do.”

“I want these young people to know that authenticity is the greatest gift you can give yourself. And in doing so, people see you. I want to thank you Governor Newsom for seeing me,” he said.

Last year, Jenkins, 66, came out of retirement to help the administration increase diversity on the state's benches.

Equality California, the state's largest LGBT rights advocate, applauded Newsom's decision.

“Governor Newsom's appointment of California's first openly gay supreme court justice is a monumental step forward for the LGBTQ+ community and for our entire state,” Equality California Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur said in a statement. “Not only is Justice Jenkins exceptionally qualified and an outstanding choice for California's highest court, but he embodies the values of our great state. Governor Newsom is setting a national example as he works to ensure California's government reflects the diversity of the people they serve.”