Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum said in a television interview aired Monday that he is bisexual, as he continues to re-enter the public spotlight after a March incident in which he was found intoxicated in a Miami Beach hotel room.
“I don’t identify as gay,” Gillum said, “but I do identify as bisexual. And that is something I have never shared publicly before.”
Gillum sat down for an interview with Tamron Hall in which he discussed at length the incident in a Miami Beach hotel room where he was found, drunk and nude, in the same place where an acquaintance was being treated for a drug overdose.
That news, while largely overshadowed at the time by the burgeoning COVID-19 pandemic, appeared to derail the political future of one of the state’s rising Democratic stars. Gillum in 2018 surprised many long-time observers by securing the Democratic nomination in a crowded field and drew national attention as the first Black nominee for Florida Governor for a major party.
Even after he lost the election, some questioned if he was considering a run for President. But since entering rehab immediately after the Miami incident, he’s largely pulled back from public view.
Hall devoted the full hour of the season premiere of the “Tamron Hall Show” to the interview with Gillum and wife, R. Jai Gillum.
She did ask Gillum in the interview if he still envisioned running for office again.
“Would it be hard? Absolutely,” Gillum said. “But Donald Trump is President.” He suggested if many politicians hold office despite making scandalous assertions about their own sex lives while completely sober, he may yet come back from the Miami incident.
That evening at the Mondrian South Beach Hotel took up much of the interview with Hall, but Gillum also discussed turbulence in his life leading to that night.
In the hour, Gillum revealed that after his close loss to Ron DeSantis in the 2018 gubernatorial race, he began drinking heavily, including putting whiskey in his morning coffee.
He refused direction from R. Jai to seek counseling for depression, and revealed he struggled with his family life at home.
“She barely can abide me, I barely can abide her,” Gillum said of his marriage at the time. “Everything the kids do irritates me.”
In March, he went to Miami ahead of his wife to attend a wedding where he was to officiate, but ended up with an acquaintance he’d known a matter of months, he said. That friend was presumably Travis Dyson.
While Gillum described that person initially as a friend, he said he’d only known the individual for a matter of months and had discussed his run for Governor. Media reports later identified Dyson as a male escort known in Miami.
Gillum said he was drinking before connecting with his friend, and was drinking in the hotel room before blacking out for three hours. He said he still has no memory of most of the night, and woke up to be surrounded by police and being told his friend overdosed.
Gillum had ignored about 50 phone calls from his wife at that time, R. Jai told Hall.
Gillum said he is fully aware of speculation he was in a sexual relationship with Dyson. But he said there was no romantic relationship with his friend.