Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Busting out on Beacon Hill

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Busting out on Beacon Hill

Article excerpt

Politically, Massachusetts state senator Cheryl Jacques has never kept a low profile. But the former prosecutor was tight-lipped about her personal life until June 1, when she came out of the closet in a Boston Globe editorial, becoming the Massachusetts's first openly gay state senator. Now Jacques discusses her motivation for doing so.

Congratulations, senator. What made you decide to come out?

I saw statistics stating that almost 33% of gay and lesbian teenagers [in Massachusetts] had attempted suicide, and that was the triggering event. I wanted to send two messages: one to the kids and one to the parents. If there was a kid out there considering suicide, maybe they would read the op-ed piece and think, If [being gay] is OK for her, maybe it's OK for me too. I also wanted to reach parents, especially those who have just found out their child is gay. I wanted them to say, "There's a lawyer, a former prosecutor, a senator, and she's gay. …

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