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Andrew Gillum makes a major revelation about himself.

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Andrew Gillum comes out as bisexual

The ex-Governor candidate revealed his identification in an interview with Tamron Hall

Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum said in a television interview broadcast Monday that he is bisexual as he continues to re-enter the public spotlight after a March incident in which he was found intoxicated in a Miami Beach hotel room.

“I don’t identify as gay,” Gillum said, “but I do identify as bisexual. And that is something I have never shared publicly before.”

Gillum sat down for an interview with Tamron Hall in which he discussed at length the incident in a Miami Beach hotel room where he was found, drunk and nude, in the same place where an acquaintance was being treated for a drug overdose.

That news, while largely overshadowed at the time by the burgeoning COVID-19 pandemic, appeared to derail the political future of one of the state’s rising Democratic stars. Gillum in 2018 surprised many long-time observers by securing the Democratic nomination in a crowded field and drew national attention as the first Black nominee for Florida Governor for a major party.

Even after he lost the election, some questioned if he was considering a run for President. But since entering rehab immediately after the Miami incident, he’s largely pulled back from public view.

Hall devoted the full hour of the season premiere of the “Tamron Hall Show” to the interview with Gillum and wife, R. Jai Gillum.

She did ask Gillum in the interview if he still envisioned running for office again.

“Would it be hard? Absolutely,” Gillum said. “But Donald Trump is President.” He suggested if many politicians hold office despite making scandalous assertions about their own sex lives while completely sober, he may yet come back from the Miami incident.

That evening at the Mondrian South Beach Hotel took up much of the interview with Hall, but Gillum also discussed turbulence in his life leading to that night.

In the hour, Gillum revealed that after his close loss to Ron DeSantis in the 2018 gubernatorial race, he began drinking heavily, including putting whiskey in his morning coffee.

He refused direction from R. Jai to seek counseling for depression, and he revealed he struggled with his family life at home.

“She barely can abide me, I barely can abide her,” Gillum said of his marriage at the time. “Everything the kids do irritates me.”

In March, he went to Miami ahead of his wife to attend a wedding where he was to officiate, but ended up with an acquaintance he had known a matter of months, he said. That friend was presumably Travis Dyson.

While Gillum described that person initially as a friend, he said he had only known the individual for a matter of months and had discussed his run for Governor. Media reports later identified Dyson as a male escort known in Miami.

Gillum said he was drinking before connecting with his friend and was drinking in the hotel room before blacking out for three hours. He said he still has no memory of most of the night and woke up to be surrounded by police and being told his friend overdosed.

Gillum had ignored about 50 phone calls from his wife at that time, R. Jai told Hall.

Gillum said he is fully aware of speculation he was in a sexual relationship with Dyson. But he said there was no romantic relationship with his friend.

“The reason why I went to that room is probably no different than how somebody might communicate with someone they are in a friendship, relationship, whatever with,” he said. “I understand very well what people assume about that.”

Gillum made clear he did not participate in a “sex orgy,” as suggested by conservative blogger Candace Owens when she published police reports about the incident on Twitter.

Addressing a photo published later that showed Gillum nude on the floor of the hotel, Gillum told Hall: “That was not anything more than a person being at their most vulnerable state, unconscious, having given no consent, and someone decided to use a moment where I was literally lying in my own vomit,” he said.

“Everyone believes the absolute worst about that day. At this stage, I don’t have anything else to have to conceal.”

Hall raised the topic of Gillum’s sexuality, but said she was remiss to ask the question because being gay would not disqualify a politician from office.

Gillum circled back to that however, and made clear he identifies as bisexual.

R. Jai revealed she knew of Gillum’s sexuality before they wed. She never felt it was a matter that should be discussed with the public. That’s in part because of a poor understanding of bisexuality.

“Many people just don’t understand bisexuality,” she said. “They think they can wrap their heads around gay, but bisexuality is something different.”

Gillum said police drove him from the scene and he initially thought he would be taken to the police station as a witness to a crime. Instead, he ended up at his own hotel, where R. Jai had arrived and was sleeping. He told her about some of the events of the evening, at least what he recalled at the time. R. Jai recalled calling him “reckless.”

The couple also disclosed that their marriage had been in trouble well before the incident, and Gillum said both “gave up on each other” in July. R. Jai recalled feeling the one bright side to her husband losing the Governor’s race was she would get her husband back in day-to-day life but that didn’t happen.

Gillum also discussed his family history with drinking; his father was an alcoholic. At low stages after the election, Gillum said he was drinking whiskey secretly with his morning coffee.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Ray Blacklidge

    September 14, 2020 at 10:48 am

    I don’t care what you are, however you did cheat on your wife and you placed yourself in a very bad situation showing very poor judgement. I recommend that Mr. Gilliam retire from the public life and find some comfortable quite job somewhere is a quite part of the State.

    • Tabeeshack

      September 14, 2020 at 12:22 pm

      Again, the sitting president cheating on all 3 wives and has children with all 3 (baby mamas). The business of marriage and what is tolerated and accepted in marriage is between the people in the marriage and no one else, respectfully.

      • Rich Pires

        September 14, 2020 at 2:34 pm

        That’s some false equivalent you pulled there. You do realize president Trump never overdosed on meth butt naked in a cheap hotel floor while having a gay orgy with fecal matter splattered all over the room, right?

        • patriot

          September 14, 2020 at 9:34 pm

          You sure? Putin has the vid.

        • Robert Jennings

          September 15, 2020 at 6:09 pm

          He is finished, politically, in Florida. Say what you wish, make up as many excuses as you desire, but his rising political star has crashed, never to be resurrected, ever.

      • Trina

        September 17, 2020 at 7:08 am

        I do agree on that but you know others will hold a double standard!

        He, this, is his way of healing, RJ knew and accepted it before they were married. According to who has been elected in the White House, Trump, no one can say nothing about Gilliam or Jada!
        It’s their relationship that has been made public so people will form options without all the facts. It happens.

  2. Douglas P.

    September 14, 2020 at 10:49 am

    There is nothing inherently wrong with being bisexual.

    There is everything inherently wrong with being dishonest. Look at his history and people with whom he has associated for proof.

    • Tabeeshack

      September 14, 2020 at 12:27 pm

      Trump, Manifort, Cohen, Flynn, Papadopoulos, Stone = convicted felons = association. What a true statement.

      • Douglas P.

        September 14, 2020 at 12:32 pm

        To say nothing of Mr. Soros and Tallahassee-based scum.

    • crazy thinking

      September 14, 2020 at 2:54 pm

      So, Douglas P. so you say there is nothing wrong with a man putting his p nis I another mans b utt or putting another mans pe is in his mouth, you must be gay???

      • Deborah

        September 14, 2020 at 3:23 pm

        He still is a disgrace to the country and needs to go back to public life!

      • Douglas P.

        September 14, 2020 at 3:43 pm

        Crazy–No, I’m not and I have no interest in those acts. However, if others do, it is none of my (or your) concern provided that all are adults and it is done with mutual consent.

        That said, dishonesty is necessarily one-sided. In other words, a victim does not (cannot) consent to dishonest acts. When someone like Mr. Gilliam is entrusted with power and public trust and abuses it with his business and political dealings, that is where the dishonesty and lying become issues.

        It doesn’t matter with whom he has sex (although it would, presumably, matter to his family). What does matter is that he has abused the public trust in his business and political dealings and associations.

  3. Olivia

    September 14, 2020 at 11:55 am

    I always loved him and I applaud his courage to step out and accept himself rather than be shamed. I don’t think it is good to feel cornered into hiding who you are. He’s only human. He cheated on his wife because he had an inner battle inside. He was cheating on himself. It’s an inner battle. I applaud his courage and forgive his humanity. Now he can be his true self and his talents can lead effectively.

  4. Douglas P.

    September 14, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    Respectfully, Olivia, while his bisexuality is irrelevant, you seem to be a poor judge of character.

  5. Joann Jackson

    September 14, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    Gilliam is selfish, liar,cheats on his wife and family. He won’t be able to go back to politics ever again. If you can’t handle loss in your life, no need for you to be a politician again. Not to be trusted!

    • Nikki

      September 14, 2020 at 12:43 pm

      I couldn’t agree more. His wife and children deserve better!

  6. Kimberly Black

    September 14, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    I am glad he can be himself now. He and his wife have an arrangement concerning their marriage. It is not our business about the arrangement details. We all have shortcomings. NO ONE IS PERFECT. He is taking accountability. Men cheat on wives and vice versa in all walks of life. Who are we to judge others relationships ? I pray he continues to get his life back on track.

  7. Julia

    September 14, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    He should apply to be the new president at FSU. He’s everything they want.

  8. Alyson

    September 14, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    What trash and what an embarrassment to Tallahassee. Just GO AWAY already….

  9. Deegan is a poor example

    September 14, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Lets not forget that Donna Deegan supported Gillum and probably still does. She probably is ok with him sleeping with and having sex with another man. She probably doest not believe in God or the Bible either.

  10. Art

    September 14, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    Of course Donald Trump is president. But then he wasn’t found passed out in a hotel room, with piss and vomit all over himself, in the company of a male hooker and surrounded by meth paraphernalia.
    Now he awards himself what passes for a badge of honor in his party, bisexuality. I’m sure his wife and kids are so happy.
    If Gillum finds a place far, far away and change a his name, and maybe, just maybe he can run for office again, lol.

  11. just sayin

    September 15, 2020 at 8:12 am

    He’s in desperate need of another way to latch on to the public teat again. And of course the Florida Dems will indulge him because they’re a bunch of clowns. There are so many more qualified democrats in this state than this idiot.

  12. Madalina

    September 15, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Coming “out” is his excuse for such disgusting behavior? Being in a drug addicted and drunken stupor appears to be the given excuse for the Dem’s.

    Anyone who voted for this fool has an IQ lower than room temperature.

  13. just sayin

    September 15, 2020 at 8:54 am

    The important thing to take away from all this is that he’s just a victim. Nothing is his fault. Now can he get back on the taxpayer’s dime?

  14. Domino

    September 15, 2020 at 9:35 am

    The ONE bright spot in the pandemic was Gillum’s disappearance on Friday the 13th.

  15. President Camacho

    September 15, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    This guy would still have Florida on lockdown as bad or worse than Michigan’s. Your 2nd Amendment would be under constant attack. Police would be subdued and not allowed to do their job. Florida narrowly escaped this fate and from a guy that does crap like this. This system is really showing how broken it is.

  16. Doug in Jax

    September 15, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    And apparently his wife identifies as a doormat.

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