School board member becomes second out black gay official in Georgia

School board member becomes second out black gay official in Georgia
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A member of a local county education board in Georgia came out Friday as gay, making him the second out gay black man to hold public office in the state.

Everton Blair, a member of the Gwinnett County Board of Education, came out on National Coming Out Day, but told NBC News he didn't want attention to focus solely on him.

"I didn't want to make this day that I chose to come out singularly about me," he told the network.


"I recognized it's just really important for me to model what being an open and out leader looked like, particularly for young students who may be struggling to find themselves or navigate life," he added.

A native of Gwinnett County, Blair was elected to the school board in 2018. Before being elected, Blair — a graduate of Harvard and Stanford — served in the Obama administration as a policy and advocacy fellow.

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OUT. Loud. Happy Coming Out Day! ‍♂️

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"With just 15 openly LGBTQ elected officials in all of Georgia and just two openly LGBTQ Black men, Everton will be a unique and influential voice moving forward, and a relentless advocate for vulnerable students," said Annise Parker, a former Democratic mayor of Houston who serves as president and CEO of the Victory Fund, an LGBT-focused political action committee.

Parker was one of the first openly gay mayors in the country.

Blair noted in his interview with NBC that knowing even one accepting adult can reduce the risk of LGBT youth suicide.

The 27-year-old continued: "For me it was standing up in a firm rejection of that stigma and of that frame of living because its just far too important — we don't make progress in building a more inclusive society by the very people who could be on the front lines advocating for issues that affect them, minimizing themselves to make other people more comfortable."