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SubscriptionsGo to the Subscriptions Centre to manage your:My ProfileAs Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Cecil Clarke readies to embark on a new chapter of his political life, he’s also speaking out about his personal life.Clarke, 49, announced publicly Thursday he is gay.Clarke said someone “wanting to possibly shame” him threatened to expose his personal life, so he made the decision to share the information himself.”If that’s homophobia and the fact that I’m gay in political life, then shame on people that do that,” he told CBC’s Mainstreet Cape Breton.Clarke is expected to announce on Saturday that he will seek the leadership of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party. He said he wanted to come out before then.”I hope on Saturday anyone that’s coming to hear me is there to support me as Cecil the politician and the fact that I am gay, if they have a problem with that as a Progressive Conservative, then they’re not my Progressive Conservative of today.”Clarke said he is in a committed relationship with a man he loves, which he credits, along with the support of his family,
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with helping him reach his decision to come out publicly.”I owe it to myself to be true going forward, because I’m not going to have people trying to shame me or somehow get out there and malign me,” he said.Childhood sexual abuseHe also revealed that he had been sexually abused as a child.”When I was four and then seven, I was sexually assaulted as a child. I thought I’d recovered very well from that and that I had the love of a family that was there for me and a community that supported me. This week, all of that hurt and pain came barrelling back.”He did not provide details of the abuse, which he said was “swept under the rug.””The RCMP of the day were at the door; I remember the images. It was like, ‘OK, how do we make this go away?’ And that was it.”He said his sisters, brothers and parents rallied to his side this week. He said they all had a tough time growing up, living on welfare and dealing with the separation of his parents. “But I had love around me. That loving family built me up,
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” he said. “My church has been fundamental to me in my life in giving me a great foundation.”