On the eve of gay pride week in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson revealed in a letter published Saturday that he is gay. “I'm gay. There—I said it; or rather, wrote it. Those two words took me almost four decades to utter, but as they say, ‘Better late than never,’” Watson wrote in the Ottawa Citizen. Watson said he’d struggled about coming out over the past few years, but “two events” in particular had finally pushed him to make the decision, and both had been run-ins with homophobia. After “stories emerged about the fear gay athletes and spectators felt due to the homophobic attitude of the Russian government” during the 2014 Olympic Games, he wrote, he found himself not only showing solidarity with the LGBTQ community and athletes, but hitting back against a constituent who called his show of support a “stupid waste of time.” The second incident, he said, was when a man approached him and disparaged an upcoming Pride Parade as a “fag parade.” “I told him: ‘I’m looking forward to marching in the Pride Parade, and I plan on doing so again, so why don’t you join me?’’” he wrote. After publishing the op-ed, Watson said he felt “great” and relieved” after receiving “very, very kind” responses.
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