“You didn’t ask the question but I don’t identify as gay. I identify as bisexual. I’ve never shared that publicly before,” Gillum told Hall during a joint interview with his wife, R. Jai Gillum.
The Democratic candidate for governor in 2018, Gillum won 4,043,723 votes — 49.2 percent of Florida votes — but lost by less than half a percentage point in the midterm elections to Republican candidate Ron De Santis.
The former mayor of Tallahassee, Gillum, now 41, would have been the first Black governor of the largest swing state if he had been elected.
In March 2020, Gillum withdrew from public life after police were called to a Miami hotel room for a possible drug overdose after a night of partying. Gillum was found drunk in the room on March 13 with another man who may have overdosed on drugs, police said.
“Since my race for governor ended, I fell into a depression that has led to alcohol abuse,” Gillum said in a statement in March, Politico reported. “I witnessed my father suffer from alcoholism and I know the damaging effects it can have when untreated. I also know that alcoholism is often a symptom of deeper struggles.“
A father of three, Gillum was scheduled to discuss on the Tamron Hall Show his “fall from grace”, his rehabilitation in the face of adversity, the impact this had on his marriage to R. Jai Gillum and their family, and what the future holds.
Throughout his career, Gillum has been vocal in fighting for LGBTQ+ rights and equality, according to Out.com.
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“So many people just don’t understand bisexuality,” R. Jai said in the joint interview. “Bisexuality is just something different. I just believe that love and sexuality exist on a spectrum. All I care about is what’s between us and what agreement we make.”
In July, Gillum posted an 11-minute video on Instagram with an update about how he was seeking help and guidance and entering a rehabilitation facility.
On Twitter, responses to the discussion of his sexuality ranged from congratulations and applause to “Don’t care”.