Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘I’m gay’: Mayor of Ottawa comes out

‘I’m gay’: Mayor of Ottawa comes out

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson (left) speaks to CNN journalist Anderson Cooper in October 2014. AFP

‘I’m gay’: Mayor of Ottawa comes out

The mayor of Ottawa revealed Saturday that he is gay, an announcement that comes on the eve of gay pride week in the Canadian capital city.

“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,’” Jim Watson wrote in a letter published in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper.

The 58-year-old, who has served as the city’s mayor since 2010, recalled being a shy teen who moved and changed schools frequently, which prevented him from making friends.

It was the 1970s, a time when “there were virtually no resources to seek for guidance or help, or just to talk”.

After graduating from university, Watson said he threw himself into his work. A provincial MP from 2003 to 2010, he also served as city councillor and provincial cabinet minister.

“As I look back over my life, and in hindsight, not coming out sooner was a big mistake on my part,” he wrote.

“My reluctance has not allowed me to live my life as full of love and adventure as my gay friends who were bolder and braver than I ever was.”

He urged gay people who are in the closet not to feel rushed to come out – “but don’t wait 40 years either”.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hailed Watson’s “brave words,” saying they would “inspire Ottawans – and all Canadians – to feel free to be themselves.”

Ottawa’s week-long Capital Pride event is set to begin this Sunday, celebrating the area’s LGBTQ community.

MOST VIEWED

  • First deportees of the year touch down in Cambodia

    Twenty-five Cambodian-Americans landed in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, marking the first such deportations of the year. “On Wednesday, US law enforcement authorities deported 25 Cambodian nationals that immigration judges determined had no legal basis to remain in the US,” said Arend Zwartjes, spokesperson for the US

  • Qatar Airways to connect Doha and Siem Reap town

    Qatar Airways Company QCSC has announced a new route connecting Qatar’s capital Doha with Siem Reap, a move hailed by local officials as a significant step to boost tourist numbers. A Qatar Airways representative, speaking at the Kuwait Aviation Show, announced on Thursday that

  • Kingdom drafting new law to strengthen immigration

    The Ministry of Interior on Tuesday said it had formed a working group to draft amendments to the Law on Immigration. Its secretary of state Sok Phal told The Post that the amendments will strengthen the management of immigrants in line with the current situation.

  • Sokha defence denies Tech’s claims

    ON DAY two of Kem Sokha’s treason trial, lawyers for the government said the defence had raised questions in an attempt to allow their client to make a public statement and a conclusion to the case, something his legal team denied. Ky Tech, a

  • Cambodian general visits Myanmar to enhance national defence cooperation

    Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) commander-in-chief Vong Pisen is now in Myanmar leading a delegation that aims to improve ties, particularly in national defence, with the fellow Asean member. The timing of Pisen’s four-day visit to the Southeast Asian neighbour is highly symbolic, with

  • Sokha’s treason trial begins

    The treason trial of Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) president Kem Sokha began at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday with the presentation of a two-minute video clip. The footage, which was the basis of the charge against him, was dismissed by