Shevrin Jones is at the top of his game within the political world.
He is a state representative within the U.S. state of Florida, he’s won that position three consecutive times, he is highly respected by his peers, and he’s even been whispered as a potential lieutenant governor pick if politician Gwen Graham wins the Democratic nomination next week.
But Jones has just decided to add to that list by becoming the first openly Gay Black lawmaker in the state of Florida.
Jones says he’s always known that he was gay since he was in Kindergarten, but, as he told the Miami Herald, he lost his older brother last year. That loss has led to a new perspective on life.
“My brother died at the age of 34. I was like, that could have been me. I could drop dead living behind the scenes of something that could have helped someone else,” he told the Miami Herald. “I started living my truth just a little bit more.”
So how did Jones come out? It was by having his name place among Equality Florida’s list of endorsements of openly gay candidates.
“I said I don’t know if that’s the way I want to have a coming-out party,” Jones said. “Then I was like, ‘You know what, go ahead. It’s fine.’”
This change didn’t happen over night, however. While his brother’s death led him to the mindset of coming out, he had already began coming out to his family.
Not only did his beloved brother know about his sexuality before he passed, but so too did his parents and now ex-wife.
“I got married and my ex-wife — I love her. She’s amazing. She even lives in my district — she and I were friends for 10 years at school. When I married her I loved her then. But I loved her too much to continue to lie to her and lie to my family. I have to be honest.”
Jones later separated from his wife in 2012 before officially getting divorced in 2015. He now lives in Hollywood, Florida with a male partner.
It’s been a struggle to not only be openly gay but to accept his sexuality in the first place. Now, Jones hopes to lead by example for his constitutes (whether they’re gay or otherwise).
h/t: The Miami Herald