CHARLOTTE, N.C. — State Rep. Marcus Brandon, running for a chance to take the 12th Congressional District seat this spring, was recently featured on Fusion TV. In the interview, Brandon said he “will not hide” and describes his toughest day of work at the North Carolina General Assembly.

The interview with Brandon appeared this week on “Alicia Menendez Tonight,” hosted by former HuffPost Live host Alicia Menendez.

Brandon, the state’s only openly gay or lesbian legislator, said he’ll take the same openness with him to Washington, D.C.

“When I go to Congress, I will continue to have these conversations,” he says. “I will not hide or be ashamed of who I am. I will always speak up for my community or any other communities who are having injustices because I know what that feels like.”

Elsewhere in the Fusion interview, Brandon described what he called the “hardest day of my career” when state lawmakers voted to send North Carolina’s anti-LGBT constitutional amendment to the ballot.

“It was like being voted off the island,” Brandon says, with tears welling up. “It was really hurtful to hear people that you eat lunch with and you have a beer with and you have respect for them and who they are, but they just put a vote up on that board that said you were less than they were, that I didn’t deserve the same things that they deserve. That was so hurtful. I couldn’t stay in here another second. I just had to walk out. I knew I had to bring myself into a different place to continue to work here. … At that moment, I really felt like I wasn’t part of them.”

Brandon is the only openly LGBT African-American state lawmaker in the South. If his congressional bid is successful, he’ll become the first black gay man elected to Congress.

He faces several opponents in a primary this May. Brandon has led in fundraising so far during the campaign and received an endorsement from the Victory Fund, a national group dedicated to electing openly LGBT people to office.

You can watch the full interview at Fusion TV.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.