Six-term congressman and former paper mill worker Maine Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud has come out of the closet in an op-ed provided to The Associated Press, the Portland Press Herald and the Bangor Daily News.
Michaud who is hoping to unseat Maine Gov. Paul LePage next year announced that he’s gay in response to what he called a ‘‘whisper campaign, insinuations and push-polls’’ attempted to get voters to question whether he’s gay.’ by political opponents hoping to weaken his gubernatorial bid.
I wasn’t surprised to learn about the whisper campaigns, insinuations and push-polls some of the people opposed to my candidacy have been using to raise questions about my personal life. They want people to question whether I am gay.
Allow me to save them the trouble with a simple, honest answer: “Yes, I am. But why should it matter?”
That may seem like a big announcement to some people. For me, it’s just a part of who I am, as much as being a third-generation millworker or a lifelong Mainer. One thing I do know is that it has nothing to do with my ability to lead the state of Maine.
Growing up in a large Franco-American Catholic family, it’s never been in my nature to talk about myself. I write this now merely to let my opponents and the outside interests who fund them know that I am not ashamed of who I am. And if seeing someone from my background, in my position, openly acknowledge the fact that he’s gay makes it a little bit easier for future generations to live their lives openly and without fear, all the better.“
Michaud didn’t identify who he thinks was behind the alleged whisper campaign against him. His campaign has not previously raised the issue.