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When former Mayor Bob Filner resigned office this summer, San Diego became the second largest city in the country with an openly gay mayor.

I spent a long day last week with interim mayor Todd Gloria.

As he wrapped up his nearly 14-hour day with a stop at a College Area Community Council meeting, he took time to meet with any residents who had questions or concerns.

There were students who griped that older residents of the neighborhood were on a witch hunt against them. Constituents from other districts voiced concerns about new developments in their community.

Then, a woman approached Gloria with a much more personal concern. Earlier in the evening, she had asked Gloria whether he would pursue “a homosexual agenda” as mayor. (The woman was speaking during a public comment phase; Gloria didn’t directly respond at the time.)

She later made a few inaudible remarks to Gloria in the hallway, then handed him a flyer titled “Sin City.”

“I’ll be praying for you,” she said.

Gloria politely thanked her, and she left the College-Rolando Library, where the meeting was being held.

Gloria shrugged off the exchange.

Earlier that day, he had recounted a story about his childhood, when a teacher warned him about limited opportunities for gay people in public office.

“When I was a kid, I had a teacher say that if you were gay, you could never be in elected office. That wasn’t allowed,” he said. “People say, ‘Thanks for what you’re doing.’ (I say) Thanks for the opportunity to do it.”

Check out the video below to hear Gloria recall that moment in his own words.

Sam Hodgson

Sam Hodgson is a freelance photojournalist and contributor to Voice of San Diego. You can contact him at samhodgsonphoto@gmail.com...

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