Former Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., came out as gay on Instagram this week, writing that he regrets his previous positions on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights issues.
"I am gay," the former congressman wrote. "For those who know me and for many who only know of me, this will come as no surprise. For the past year, I have been working through a list of people who I felt should finally hear the news directly from me before I made a public statement."
He added, "The fact that I am gay is just one of those things in my life in need of explicit affirmation, to remove any doubt and to finally validate who I am as a person. In many ways I regret the time wasted in not having done so sooner."
Schock, 38, served four terms in Congress after becoming the then-youngest member at 27 before resigning in 2015 after Politico questioned inconsistencies in the mileage reimbursements he received. A subsequent investigtion found he spent more than $100,000 to decorate his congressional office and on other expenses.
Schock explained that when he first ran in 2008, he "took the same position" on same-sex marriage as the GOP’s presidential nominee, the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., but said, "that fact doesn't make my then position any less wrong."
Schock said that if he were in Congress today, he "would support LGBTQ rights in every way."
He also wrote that his mother refused to see him after seeing pictures of him at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival that "made it clear" he was gay.
"She told me to turn around and go back to LA. I wasn't welcome at home for Easter."
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