Bronx City Councilman James Vacca, 60, made waves on Friday when he came out as gay on Twitter. In a nonchalant style, the politician joked that after making the announcement, it was back to normal life - including an episode of the TV show Golden Girls.
"After talking w/ my friends & family I've decided to come out publicly as a gay man. Now back to the Golden Girls!" Vacca wrote, ending the tweet with the hashtags #comingout and #outandproud. He elaborated further in a statement sent to the media.
"At this point in my life I've decided to publicly come out as a gay man. Every person has their own journey and I am fortunate to be able to make the decision to come out on my own terms," Vacca said. "My orientation is an innate part of who I am and I want my friends, family, colleagues, and constituents to share in this part of my life. I don't want a spectacle or media event; instead I just want your respect as another human being."
Following his announcement, the council's LGBT caucus quickly welcomed the councilman into the ranks of out politicians serving the city.
"The City Council's LGBT Caucus is incredibly proud of our colleague, Jimmy Vacca. Throughout his career, Jimmy has always been a strong champion of LGBT rights, and by coming out he is giving inspiration and strength to untold numbers of people," they said in a press statement. "Coming out is never easy - even in 2016 - and we greatly admire Jimmy for his courage. We wish him much happiness."
Vacca, who has served on the council since 2005, received reply messages of support and admiration from other politicians and activists. Fellow council member Robert Cornegy, Jr., however, sent a cheeky reply that focused on the TV show reference and brought council member Mark Otto into the joke. Golden Girls, a show about four elderly women who live together in Florida, is a mainstay of gay culture.