MR. Kelvin Atkinson is this week's Real Man We Admire.
Honest, candid, and vulnerable aren’t the first words that come to mind when we think of politicians, but they perfectly sum up Kelvin Atkinson, this week’s Real Man We Admire. The Nevada state Senator (D-North Las Vegas) surprised many of his constituents and fellow politicos this week when he publicly came out during a debate to repeal his state’s ban on gay marriage.
“I’m black. I’m gay. I’ve dealt a lot with what people are talking about,“ he announced on the state Senate floor, in what felt like a completely raw, unrehearsed moment. “I know this is the first time many of you have hear me say that I’m a black, gay male.”
The 44-year-old, who has been part of Nevada’s legislature for more than a decade, says he was moved to come out after listening to months of heated discussion from voters over Senate Joint Resolution 13, which would abolish the heterosexual definition of marriage that’s been in Nevada’s Constitution since 2002.
“I didn’t think. I just knew it was time,” he told reporters afterwards. “I never considered myself not out. I didn’t care who knew, I just didn’t ever think that I needed to make a public statement about it.”
We’re glad you did, Senator, and we wish more public figures would follow suit. Not only did the bill pass (Nevada residents will vote on the issue in 2016), but Atkinson claims his speech swayed at least two other lawmakers...