We’re always happy when someone joins the LGBTeam — even when it’s a formerly homophobic politician like Aaron Schock!
Yes, Perezcious readers, the disgraced congressman took to Instagram on Thursday to come out as gay, revealing that his sexuality has left him disowned by his deeply religious family who still wants him to go through conversion therapy.
Acknowledging that the announcement would not be surprising (Schock-ing?) to many, the 38-year-old wrote:
“I am gay. For those who know me and for many who only know of me, this will come as no surprise. For the past year, I have been working through a list of people who I felt should finally hear the news directly from me before I made a public statement. I wanted my mother, my father, my sisters, my brother, and my closest friends to hear it from me first.”
The ex-politician, who resigned from congress five years ago amid claims he misused government and campaign funds to decorate his office with a Downtown Abbey theme — “a show I’d never even heard of, and still haven’t seen,” he insisted — went on to admit there was plenty of “speculation” while he was in office, adding:
“In many ways I regret the time wasted in not having done so sooner. Life is better with nothing to fear or hide.”
Schock then shared his all-too-familiar story about being brought up in a church that caused him to attempt to reject his sexuality.
He said he avoided thinking about his gay nature, then, once he was elected into office, he said he “assumed that revealing myself as their gay congressman would not go over well,” adding:
“I also, in retrospect, realize that I was just looking for more excuses to buy time and avoid being the person I’ve always been.”
When he was finally ready to come out to his family last Easter, photos of Schock shirtless with other gays at Coachella were posted, making it “clear” that he was gay, he wrote.
He explained that when he spoke to his mother about it, “she told me to turn around and go back to LA. I wasn’t welcome at home for Easter,” recalling:
“What I had to share was unwelcome news to every single person in my family, out of the blue in some cases, and was met with sadness, disappointment, and unsympathetic citations to Scripture. It hurt to hear all this, to say the least. What I had feared from many of them had come to pass.”
Schock wrote that some of his family members might “never come around,” noting:
“I still get occasional emails trying to sell me on conversion therapy.”
The ex-congressman also made sure to admit to one clear regret while in office: being against gay marriage and supporting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Schock wrote that if he were still in Congress today, he “would support LGBTQ rights in every way I could,” adding:
“I can live openly now as a gay man because of the extraordinary, brave people who had the courage to fight for our rights when I did not.”
Sure, his congressional track-record was very anti-LGBT, but we have to remember that Schock — and all homophobes, for that matter — was a product of his environment. He was born this way and raised that way, so let’s applaud the guy for straightening himself out!
Ch-ch-check out his full post (below).