HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania state senator on Sept. 23 came out as gay.
“Hundreds of people know I’m gay, I just never made it an official declaration,” said state Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-Alleghany County) as WITF, a public radio station in central Pennsylvania, reported. “I never felt I had to wear a billboard on my forehead. But I’m gay. Get over it.”
Ferlo came out during a news conference that focused on adding sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to the commonwealth’s hate crimes law. It took place nearly two weeks after a gay Philadelphia couple was attacked as they walked home from a local restaurant.
“I love it,” said Ferlo, discussing his sexual orientation. “It’s a great life.”
Ferlo is the commonwealth’s first openly gay state senator.
The Pittsburgh Democrat has represented portions of Allegheny, Westmoreland and Armstrong Counties in the Pennsylvania Senate since 2003. He is not seeking re-election.
State Rep. Mike Fleck (R-Huntingdon County) in 2012 came out during an interview with a local newspaper.