Watch: West Virginia Republican Delegate Comes Out as Gay

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday June 17, 2021

Putnam County Delegate Joshua Higginbotham made a decision to live in his truth after he came out as gay over the weekend in a social media video. But, he insists, he is not giving his political or religious beliefs as a Republican and a Christian.

"I'm gay," Higginbotham announced in a tweet. "I've wanted to tell you this for many years, but I couldn't be public like I wanted because there were still a few people in my family who didn't know yet — now they do. So now I'm telling you, too."

The news was met with about "95% of people" being supportive and kind, according to Higginbotham, ABC reported. "It's a lot better than frankly I anticipated," he said.

Although Higginbotham is not the only openly gay lawmaker in West Virginia, he is the first who is Republican.

Fairness West Virginia, a statewide civil rights advocacy organization dedicated to fair treatment and civil rights for LGBTQ West Virginians, congratulated him on coming out.

"We think that it's great that Del. Higginbotham can lead his authentic life now. This must be a big burden that's lifted off his shoulders," Executive Director Andrew Schneider said, ABC reports.

Higginbotham insisted that nothing changes."Other than people now know this about my personal life," he said.