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David J. Johns penned an interesting opinion piece for theGrio.com, in which he praised Andrew and R. Jai Gillum's diverse Black marriage.

"Let's celebrate Andrew and R. Jai Gillum for finding the freedom to define themselves and their relationship on their terms and for making space for others to do the same," writes Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition.

In an exclusive interview with Tamron Hall that aired on Monday, Gillum, 41, came out as a bisexual man with a wife and three children.

Johns, who is same-gender attracted, asked his readers to celebrate the diversity of the couple's modern family.

"I write to thank my brother, Andrew Gillum, and my sister, R. Jai Gillum, for inviting us in. Andrew and R. Jai are a family. Period, full stop," Johns said.

Johns added: "[T]here is a need to battle systemic oppression and marginalization of people who are members of racial/ethnic and sexual minority communities, there are some among us, like myself, who live public lives to disrupt assumptions that we don't exist."

Johns suggests that Black women should protect Gillum and look beyond the complexities of sharing their men with other men.

Johns continues:

"[T]oo many members of our community suffer, often in silence, because we have not done the work, as a community of diverse Black people, to hold space and to have conversations that honor every member of our community. It is for this reason alone that Black people should commit to protecting Andrew Gillum who is among the first highly visible Black men to identify as bisexual.

"At this moment in the movement for Black lives, let’s celebrate Niecy Nash and Jessica Betts for finding love. Let’s celebrate Andrew and R. Jai Gillum for finding the freedom to define themselves and their relationship on their terms and for making space for others to do the same. Let’s celebrate the culture shift that holds space for Black LGBTQ/SGL people to thrive—as we are—without having to shrink or hide critically important parts of themselves."

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Courtesy of Tamron Hall

Many are at a loss for words after viewing Tamron Hall's exclusive interview with disgraced Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum that aired on Monday's season 2 premiere of Tamron Hall's show.

Gillum was joined by his wife, R. Jai Gillum, who explained why she accepted Gillum's marriage proposal even after he told her he was male-oriented.

Gillum was caught nude in a South Beach hotel room with a naked male escort in March.

Gillum said he and his wife were in Miami that weekend to attend a friend's wedding. After drinking at a Miami bar for 4 hours, Gillum said he texted "an associate" to hook up.

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He said he woke up several hours later on the bathroom floor in the hotel room where his friend had overdosed.

Sheriff's deputies gave Gillum a ride back to his hotel room, and he took an Uber to the rental home he shared with his wife. R. Jai was asleep when he arrived and he didn't want to wake her up.

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After Gillum explained to his wife what had happened, she said she was surprised because he was always so careful when he hooked up with other men.

Hall asked R. Jai to explain her decision to marry Gillum, knowing he was bisexual.

"So many people just don't understand bisexuality. Bisexuality is just something different," R. Jai said. "I just believe that love and sexuality exist on a spectrum. All I care about is what's between us and what agreement we make. Those people who love us and care about us and wish us well — no matter what did happen — that is the energy we need and receive."

"You said that you would not have married him if you knew that...," said Hall. "That I wasn't sure," said R. Jai, cutting Hall off.

R. Jai continued: "That a decision to choose you and say yes on the basis of knowing that it's our decision together... I've told him before that saying yes was solely about me and you. It wasn't about me, you, and the world. So I don't know, you know, someone has asked me before would you have made a different decision, and I had to say I don't know. I think, perhaps, being as young as we were -- I wasn't even 30 yet. I may have said no, because at that age, I know I wouldn't have had the maturity to say, while I am privately okay with this, I don't know that I have the strength to continually defend our relationship or my marriage to anyone who doesn't understand."

Viewers took to social media to express their opinions about the riveting interview.

Watch Tamron Hall's Season Premiere After Show below.
 

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FYI: Some of you will be easily triggered by this post. Please refrain from complaining about this post in the comments. A new post will be up shortly.
 

Andrew Gillum told Tamron Hall he identifies as bisexual. The confession came months after he was caught nude in a South Beach hotel room with a naked male escort.

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Courtesy of Tamron Hall

"I don't identify as gay, Gillum told Hall during the season 2 return of the "Tamron Hall" show, which airs Monday, Sept. 14, on ABC at 3 p.m. EST.

Gillum, 41, was joined by his wife, R. Jai Gillum, who spoke openly about her husband's sexuality. She confirmed reports that she knew of her husband's desire for men.

"Love and sexuality sits on a spectrum," R. Jai told Hall. "All I care about is what's between us... Those people who love us and care about us and wish us well — no matter what did happen — that is the energy we need and receive," she said.

Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

Gillum said he informed his wife about his sexual lifestyle "so many years ago." The couple shares three minor children.

When Hall asked Gillum if he felt like a weight had been lifted off of him, he said he had "mixed emotions" but that he feels "more whole" now that the public knows of his predilection for men.

Gillum said he wouldn't rule out entering another race for public office in the future.

Gillum, a former rising superstar in the Democratic Party, narrowly lost the 2018 gubernatorial race in Florida that would have made him the first Black governor of the nation's largest swing state.

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YouTube, Getty Images

Andrew Gillum hoped to restore his respect and dignity in an exclusive interview with Tamron Hall.

The full interview will air during the Season 2 premiere of 'Tamron Hall' on Monday, Sept. 14.

The 41-year-old father of three told Tamron he cried every day since paramedics found him lying on the floor in his own vomit in a South Beach hotel room with a naked male escort in March.

Travis Dyson, an ER nurse who advertised his male escort services online, voluntarily surrendered his registered nursing license after the news broke.

Photos depicted bottles of prescription and illegal drugs with pills strewn on the floor and on a nightstand.

The former Democratic candidate for governor was so inebriated he could not communicate with paramedics. Gillum was not arrested despite the presence of illegal drugs in the room.

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Courtesy of Tamron Hall

Gillum addressed the scandal that derailed his promising political career in his talk with Tamron. He said he hoped to redeem himself and he went into alcohol rehab after years of fighting depression.

"I'm still here by the grace of God. So much of my recovery has been about trying to get over shame. Shame is not that I did that, but I am bad."

When asked why he was in a $220-a-night hotel room with a naked male escort, Gillum responded, "I would say the reason why I went to that room was probably no different than how anybody might communicate with someone that they are in a friendship relationship whatever with. I understand very well what people assume about that."

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He also addressed the shocking photo that showed him nude on the bathroom floor in his own vomit.

"When that photo came out, I didn't recognize the person on the floor," he said.

"That was not anything more than a person being at their most vulnerable state, unconscious, having given no consent, and someone decided to use a moment where I was literally lying in my own vomit."

Police also found a vial of injectable medication that is typically prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction.

Gillum, a former rising superstar in the Democratic Party, narrowly lost the 2018 gubernatorial race in Florida that would have made him the first Black governor of the nation's largest swing state.

Gillum was joined in the interview by his long-suffering wife R. Jai Howard, who discussed the impact of her husband's scandal on their marriage and their family and what the future holds.
 

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Courtesy of Tamron Hall

The Season two premiere of 'Tamron Hall' returns Monday, Sept. 14 with an exclusive and riveting interview with Andrew Gillum, joined by his wife, R. Jai.

Gillum will address the scandal that infamous night in a Florida hotel room that derailed his rising political career.

Emmy® Award-winning talk show host, executive producer and journalist Tamron Hall returns to daytime for her sophomore season with a provocative hour-long exclusive interview with Gillum and his long-suffering wife, R. Jai.

Gillum, a former rising superstar in the Democratic Party, narrowly lost the 2018 gubernatorial race in Florida that would have made him the first Black governor of the nation's largest swing state.

The father-of-three will discuss his swift fall from grace, his rehabilitation experience in the face of adversity, and his life with R. Jai, who will also join Hall during the hour to discuss the impact this has had on their marriage and their family and what the future holds.

Additional Premiere Week highlights include an Exclusive interview with former 'Vanderpump Rules' star Stassi Schroeder; Award-winning actor Samuel L. Jackson and wife LaTanya Richardson Jackson; Melissa Etheridge on the tragic death of her son; actor Chris Evans and filmmaker and actor Mark Kassen; a look at why back to school is anything but normal; and Tamron's big FIVE-OH birthday celebration with Naomi Campbell and DJ Jazzy Jeff!

Source: Press release

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Instagram

Andrew Gillum opened up about the circumstances that led him to a drug-fueled sex orgy with two men that ended his once-promising political career.

Gillum, the former Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Florida, made headlines after he was found drunk on a bathroom floor at a luxury Miami Beach hotel with a naked male escort who was suspected of overdosing on crystal meth.

In an Instagram video on Tuesday, Gillum described the shame and "great embarrassment" he felt "from the harm that I had caused... I needed real help to try to unpack that."

Gillum captioned the video: "I am thankful to so many of you who have wished me well during this especially challenging time. I wanted to provide a personal update on how I have been doing. Take good care of yourselves during this season and I will see you on the other side. Warmest, Andrew."

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Gillum said the words "feeling" and "shame" multiple times during the 11-minute video.

"It's one thing to feel guilty for a harm you feel you may have caused someone," he said. "That's how you know you're human. That's how you know you're not a sociopath."

He said being a Black man in America, during a time of Black Lives Matter and "anti-blackness," caused him "to look for other ways to try to numb" his pain and "do some mind shift."

"I know as a Black man... what it means to have to convince people that your life has meaning. Convince people that... your life has purpose, not to be set above anybody but just to be treated on a level that's equal to everybody else around you."

He urged people who are struggling with their addictions to "be kind to yourself." He said "there is no perfect person. There is no perfect life. We're all just struggling to get by and to do better."

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The father-of-three concluded by thanking his wife and "life partner, my wife RJ, a woman who knows everything that I am and everything that I am not. And she chooses to love me anyhow. A woman who is literally God's grace on earth - the epitome of grace."
 

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Miami Beach Police Department released videos and photos of the scene inside a hotel room where Andrew Gillum was found naked with a male escort who apparently OD'd on drugs.

The photos and videos were released after a Florida newspaper filed a public records request.

The former gubernatorial candidate and 2 men were found in a room on the 11th floor of the luxury Mondrian South Beach Hotel on March 13.

Officers arrived at the hotel room just before midnight. A man later identified as Aldo Mejias answered the door.

Blurred police body cam footage captured a nude Black man wandering around the bathroom. The footage was heavily redacted with no sound.

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Photo: Central Florida Post

Police also released photos of the drug-strewn hotel room and bed sheets stained with blood, feces and vomit.

Police say 50-year-old Mejias had given his credit card to 30-year-old male escort and former registered nurse Travis Dyson to rent the room that day.

When Mejias arrived at the room later that night, he found Dyson vomiting on the bed and Gillum vomiting on the bathroom floor.

Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images

Gillum, 40, later said he was in Miami to attend a wedding. But wedding guests say he never showed up.

Gillum, a Democrat, was the first Black nominee to run for governor in Florida. He narrowly lost the election to Republican Ron DeSantis in 2018.

He apologized to his family and to his supporters before entering a rehab facility. The father-of-three never addressed the rumors that he had a wild sex orgy with the men in the hotel room.
 

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Photo: Instagram.com

Travis Dyson, a well-known male escort who was involved in a crystal methamphetamine incident with Florida Democrat Andrew Gillum, voluntarily surrendered his professional license to practice as a registered nurse in Florida.

Dyson, 30, was found in a South Beach hotel room with Gillum, 40, who made history as the first Black gubernatorial candidate in Florida.

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Both men were apparently under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Dyson was treated for a suspected drug overdose by paramedics.

A search of the Florida nursing board website for Dyson's name reveals he voluntarily surrendered his registered nurse license. He was originally licensed as a RN on Dec. 11, 2017 and he renewed his RN license on April 30, 2019.

Dyson is a popular male escort who advertises his escort services under his government name on Rentboy.com and other adult websites.

Working as a male escort is not prohibited under the Florida Board of Nursing's professional code of conduct rules.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Andrew Gillum, the former mayor of Tallahassee, was literally caught with his pants down with a naked man in a hotel room on South Beach on March 13.

The news coverage slowed to a crawl and then halted days after Gillum, 40, was found naked and vomiting on the bathroom floor in room 1107 at the Mondrian South Beach Hotel. His friend, male escort Travis Dyson, 30, was treated for a possible drug overdose.

A police report was leaked to conservative activist Candace Owens by someone who knew the news media would cover up the story.

Gillum apologized to his wife, R. Jai Gillum, and his friends and supporters. He announced he was entering rehab for an alcoholism problem.

After recovering from their shock, Gillum's supporters collectively shrugged and moved on, leaving Gillum to his sexual demons.

But 2 of Gillum's supporters believe Black men should uplift Gillum, and the news media should not demonize down low Black men.

Preston Mitchum and Michael Seaberry penned an open letter to Gillum, Black men and the news media to "be our Brother's keeper".

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The open letter came days after The Central Florida Post and London's Daily Mail published embarrassing photos of Gillum naked in a hotel room strewn with drug paraphernalia and bedsheets soiled with blood and feces.

Mitchum, an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown Law Center, told NewsOne in an email Monday night that "all media has a role to play" in supporting Gillum and Black people.

"...mainstream media, in particular, must be careful in how it displays Black people and our bodies and it isn't something they are often forced to do."

Seaberry, a high school science teacher in Clayton County, Georgia, appealed to Black men to be more supportive of Gillum and each other in their times of need.

"Fellow Black men, allow this letter to be a reminder that we, too, must be allowed the space to explore, mess up, reevaluate ourselves and become anew," Seaberry and Mitchum wrote.

Addressing the rightwing news media. Mitchum and Seaberry wrote:

"We should not be shocked that you, the media, would fetishize a Black life for clickbait, likes, and shares -- for anything. Black life, in moments of pain and terror, has long been delectable to the American palate."

While acknowledging that Gillum's story is newsworthy, they said the coverage should not be done in such a "salacious way."

The men asked the news media for decorum and restraint when covering stories about down low high-profile men.

"Sharing photos of Mayor Gillum's naked body, especially in such a vulnerable state, is inexcusable and triggering to a community that has seen our own bodies fetishized and/or slain across the nation, from the lynching tree to Main Street. Quite frankly, we are sick of seeing Black bodies become a call-to-fame and the subject of your headlines."

NewsOne chose not to publish the nude photo of Gillum or the drug-strewn hotel room.

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Andrew Gillum, the disgraced former Democratic candidate for governor, has retained a high-powered criminal defense attorney to go after news outlets that published a photo of him lying in his own vomit.

According to police, Gillum, 40, and Travis Dyson, a known male escort, participated in a drug-fueled sex party during which Dyson overdosed in room 1107 at the Mondrian South Beach Hotel on March 13. Dyson, 30, was treated at a hospital and discharged.

Alex Spiro, who has ties to rappers Jay-Z and Meek Mill, fired off take-down letters to media outlets that published a photo of Gillum sprawled naked on the bathroom floor. The photo shows Gillum lying on a pillow and a towel that is covered in his vomit. Another towel under his lower torso is soiled with feces.

Spiro fired off a letter to The Floridian Press, a newspaper that published an article using the photo after the Central Florida Post obtained the image exclusively.

"To be clear, The public has no legitimate interest in any such photo, and its release appears to be based not on any such desire to shed light on an important public event, but rather to appeal to the prurient interests of certain members of the public. Moreover, this blatant attempt to damage the reputation of a devoted public servant seeking treatment in the midst of a national emergency and global health crisis is appalling and demonstrates an utter disregard of decency and the privacy rights of Mr. Gillum and his family. The article is a violation of Mr. Gillum's rights to privacy and must be promptly removed."

Out of compassion for Mr. Gillum's wife and their 3 minor children, Javier Monjarres, the publisher of the Floridian Press, complied with the request and removed the article and photo.

However, the Central Florida Post has made it clear that they will not remove the image, not only because Spiro's demands are "legally without merit," but because "Mr. Gillum is a public figure whose life is of considerable public interest."

"Despite Mr. Spiro's claims that the public has no legitimate interest in the photo, they clearly do. After our report, dozens of news outlets around the globe used our exclusive in their own commentary and Andrew Gillum began trending on Twitter."

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The viral image has been turned into memes across multiple digital platforms.

Enrique Tarrio, who helped the Post obtain the photo, says he plans to resist any legal action by Spiro.

"[Gillum] was almost elected governor of Florida. If he had won, we would have had a sitting governor involved in a meth fueled gay sex orgy with a known male prostitute as we faced down the Wuhan flu pandemic. The public would have been placed at great risk and it is likely that people could have died due to delayed response times related to Mr. Gillum's needs to enter rehab. Mr. Gillum is not a dedicated public servant as his attorney claim. If he was a dedicated public servant he would have remained dedicated to his public image. That means not cheating on his wife, procuring male prostitutes, and engaging in meth fueled sex orgies while his young children were left home fatherless. Thank God that Florida was smart enough to elect a true leader like Ron DeSantis."

The Central Florida Post has filed an open records request with the Miami Beach Police Department under the Freedom of Information Act (FIOA) for "unredacted" police bodycam footage of Gillum in the hotel room.

Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

Gillum apologized to his wife, R. Jai Gillum, friends and supporters before announcing his plan to enter an alcohol rehabilitation facility. It is unclear if he actually entered rehab.

"This man could have been our governor and a phony rehab stint is clearly a ploy for sympathy before re-entering the political arena," wrote Jacob Engels, an Orlando based journalist who owns the Central Florida Post.