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05/02/2013 05:59 pm ET

Kelvin Atkinson, Gay Nevada State Senator, Describes Coming Out To Colleagues During Speech (VIDEO)

Nevada state Sen. Kelvin Atkinson (D) surprised some of his colleagues last week, when he took to the Senate floor during a late night debate about a same-sex marriage resolution and announced that he was gay.

"I'm black. I'm gay," he said. "I know this is the first time many of you have heard me say that I am a black, gay male."

Speaking to HuffPost Live on Thursday, Atkinson described the weight of the experience, saying that people were largely supportive of his testimony.

"About 10 of my colleagues came up to me and hugged me and said "congratulations," so it was a good feeling," he said.

Atkinson also explained that many of his fellow lawmakers didn't know he was gay, so it wasn't entirely clear how they'd respond. Since then, he said that his daughter and many others have contacted him to offer their support.

Watch more from Atkinson's appearance on HuffPost Live above, or watch the entire segment here.

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