An Ossining official has formally come out as gay after alleging that his sexuality was being leveraged against him.
Ossining Trustee Omar Herrera, who was elected three years ago, has come out, and further alleged that members of the public and other officials have made threats against him regarding his sexuality.
“It has been said, in this room and throughout the community, that there are things about me that, if revealed, could derail my ability to be elected in the future,” he said. “I never thought that in 2019, I would have people in positions of power attempt to exert power and leverage over me personally, professionally, or politically and use it as a threat against me. I never thought in 2019, my sexuality and being gay would be used against me.
“I never imagined being called homophobic and also being called a fake Christian because of my principles and my efforts and work for equality and human rights for all.”
Herrera didn’t name any names, but said that more than one official has made threats. He is not seeking re-election.
“No one should feel fear or be threatened directly or indirectly. Good leaders do not seek to control and dominate. Community members should not stoop to such levels. Threatening elated officials is especially egregious,” he said.
“This type of behavior is not OK, and should not be ok with you, the public. It should never be wrong to be who you are, and we should never have to feel ashamed of our personal story. And during a time of increased hate, division and inequity, I believe it is more important than ever to speak up against these behaviors and tactics.”
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