Two of Florida’s leading Democrats running for governor are sharing personal stories of why civil rights protections for gays and lesbians are important.

Businessman Chris King and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum spoke at the LGBTA Democrats annual conference Saturday and talked about how in many ways Florida isn’t a state that is comfortable for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents.

There was an audible gasp in the room when King talked about how he got a call from his parents during his freshman year in college. His oldest brother was gay and had just killed himself, ending a battle with depression because he felt out of place.

Gillum spoke about how his brother moved to California because it wasn’t easy being gay in Florida.

Former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham was scheduled to address the group in the evening.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

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