Barney Frank Says He’s Proud Of Coming Out, ‘I Do Think It Was Helpful’

During a press conference announcing his retirement in Newton, Massachusetts this afternoon, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) said that coming out as openly gay in 1987 in his fourth term had a positive impact on the country. “The best antidote to prejudice is reality, because prejudice is by definition based on ignorance of people’s real condition,” Frank said. “When I volunteered to finally come out in 1987, I do think it was helpful in that regard, and yes I’m proud of that.” At the time, Frank was the second openly gay man to serve in Congress; the late Rep. Gerry Studds (D-MA) came out in 1983 and was the first. Watch it: