Shortly before the November election, N.C. Rep. Cecil Brockman, D-Guilford, came out as bisexual.
Daily Tar Heel reporter Neecole Bostick talked with Brockman to discuss coming out and LGBTQ rights in the state.
Daily Tar Heel: So, you recently came out. What motivated you to do so?
Cecil Brockman: It was a couple of different things. One of the things was Representative Chris Sgro, one of the only LGBT representatives in the General Assembly. I knew Chris wasn’t the only LGBT in the General Assembly, just the only one out. With him leaving the General Assembly, he encouraged me to go out with him and his husband to the bar called Ham’s in High Point. Chris and his husband, Ryan Butler, had HB2 buttons, and this drunk guy came over to our table pretty much harassing us about HB2 … When that incident happened, it really led me (to) come out and be a representative of the LGBT community. I knew once Chris was leaving, there wouldn’t be representation. You can be part of (the) LGBT community and elective service — you can do whatever you want to do. You don’t have to be put in a box because of your sexuality. I have always fought for progression. Sexuality is a part of who I am, but it doesn’t make up everything I am.
DTH: What do you think about the recent President-elect Trump, as well as Republican majority in the U.S. Senate and House, and what do you think that means for the LGBTQ community?
CB: It’s going to be a very tough time in America to be a LGBT person because rights we have fought so hard for will be pushed back under this administration. I am very worried because they will have all the power to do they want to do, such as picking the next Supreme Court justice.
DTH: What do you think of HB2?
CB: HB2 is a bill that discriminates against (the) LGBT community, specifically the trans community. A lot of folks don’t understand the trans community. They don’t know anyone of the trans community, making it easier to discriminate against them. Even people in my district, I can’t tell you how many people have told me they don’t want guys dressing up as girls to commit crimes. I always stress HB2 does nothing to strengthen the punishments to folks who commit these crimes ... This bill literally cannot be enforced — the state will have to spend millions on bathroom monitors. It’s only a bill to scare people into not trusting the trans community ... it’s fearmongering.
DTH: What do you think needs to happen for the LGBTQ community?
CB: I think we really need to come together because there’s going to be anti-LGBT legislature, unfortunately, under the new president and his administration. He already kind of showed with the people he put in his transition team and his vice president his intentions, so we really need to come together. Even with some local stuff to help protect younger folks that have been harassed since the election since it has been bringing out people who are homophobic, misogynistic and racist. The election has emboldened a lot of those folks.
DTH: What do you think about Republican majority in the N.C. General Assembly and what it means state-wise for the LGBTQ community? What do you think will happen with HB2?
CB: I think we need to put them in check to not go as far as they want to. If Trump wins but McCrory loses, that says a lot. That shows we don’t like HB2, we don’t like what is done in our state, and we want to move past those vices and social issues. I’m very (hopeful) the General Assembly will see we need to repeal the bill. After organization after organization is pulling out of North Carolina, hopefully they will see that we need something different.