Georgia state Representative Rashad Taylor acknowledged he's gay after a man accused him of sexual misconduct.

“I've spent the last few days with my family and my friends and my pastor. I needed to sit down with them and tell them what I've come to tell you and my constituents. And that is that I'm a gay man,” Taylor told reporters on Friday at a news conference organized by the gay rights group Georgia Equality.

Taylor's coming out was prompted by an email send to dozens of lawmakers accusing the Atlanta Democrat of trading state funds and lobbyist gifts for sexual favors.

According to ABC affiliate WSBTV, Jermaine Callahan has since backtracked on those claims, admitting he has no proof. Callahan has said his allegations were based on second-hand information.

Taylor denied the claims and went on to chide Callahan's actions.

“The gentleman who wrote the emails is the former partner of the person I am now seeing. And he hoped that he wold humiliate and embarrass me by sending this email.”

“He alleges that I somehow improperly used my office. While I don't pretend to understand exactly what he's talking about, I have nothing to hide. These allegations are absolutely and utterly false.”

Taylor added that he should have come out sooner.

“For too long … I believed that being gay was something to hide. It was something to ignore. That it was something wrong with me. And unfortunately that attitude is all too prevalent within the gay community.”

“I will not buy into the idea that being gay is something to be ashamed of,” he said. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)