The overall reaction to Rep. Mike Fleck’s coming out story seems to be positive. Now the first official openly gay state lawmaker the Republican from Huntingdon County has been embraced by the LGBT community. Equality Pennsylvania welcomed his announcement and Brian Sims, newly elected from Philly’s Gayborhood wrote a piece about him for The Huffington Post. A segment from his article:
First, I hope that this moment can help each of us reflect on our own personal lives and the many trails we travel. As they say, “life is a journey” and we are all entitled to walk our own paths, at our own pace. Coming out is a process that is different for everyone. Over the entirety of our lives we all struggle to better know ourselves — gay, straight or otherwise — and we should be encouraging and supportive of those who have the courage to be true to themselves.
The closet isn’t a nice place to live and we welcome Rep. Fleck’s acceptance of who he is. I also hope the people of his District admire the courage it took for him to be publicly who he is privately. This is especially difficult for a Republican and more so for a conservative in a place like Huntingdon County. This, after all, is also Sen. Eichelberger’s region.
I hope Rep. Fleck attends some gay pride events and sees the scope of the LGBT community and feels welcome as one of us. As long as he refrains from voting against his own community in Harrisburg we welcome him with open arms. Along with Mr. Sims Pennsylvania will have two sitting openly gay State Representatives. The closet door is swinging open even in those hallowed halls.