Andrew Gillum, the former Democratic candidate for governor of Florida, revealed in an interview released Monday that he identifies as bisexual.
“To be very honest with you, when you didn’t ask the question, you put it out there is whether or not I identify as gay. And the answer is I don’t identify as gay, but I do identify as bisexual, and that is something that I have never shared publicly before,” Gillum told journalist Tamron Hall in a candid interview on her eponymously named talk show.
The emotional interview with Gillum, a former CNN contributor, centered on a February incident in which he was found “inebriated” by police who were responding to a “possible drug overdose” in a Miami hotel room he was in, according to a police report.
The police report said that officers, who told CNN at the time that they were not currently pursuing criminal charges, arrived to the scene just after midnight and found Gillum and a second person, Aldo Mejias, in the hotel room. Gillum apologized at the time, and announced the following month that he would be entering rehab.
“Everyone believes the absolute worst about that day. At this stage, I don’t have anything else to have to conceal,” Gillum said in the interview. “I literally got broken down to my most bare place, to the place where I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to live. Not because of what I had done but because of everything that was being said about me.”
“What was most hurtful was this belief that I was somehow living a lie in my marriage and in my family. That was the most hurtful to me. Because I believe we are all entitled to mistakes, and I believe we are entitled to those mistakes without having every other respectable and redeeming part of our lives invalidated,” he said, adding that “something else had been assumed” about him based on the incident.
Gillum narrowly lost the Florida gubernatorial race in November 2018 to Republican Ron DeSantis, conceding after a protracted fight that included a statewide ballot recount. The campaign, however, made Gillum a household name in national Democratic politics. Before running for governor, Gillum was the mayor of Tallahassee from 2014-2018 and a city commissioner from 2003-2014.
CNN’s Oliver Darcy and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.