Jerry Windle, a former town council member of Morrisville, NC, abruptly resigned his position this week, saying he had been the victim of intense, homophobic bullying over the past several years.
Speaking during a council meeting on Monday, Windle—just two years into his four-year term—claimed residents had subjected him to “harassing and bullying” as well as “homophobic slurs” online and in person—something, he said, “members who are sitting upon this dais” had witnessed.
“I cannot in good conscience serve on a council that has knowingly allowed me to be bullied and harassed when it could have been stopped more than a year ago,” Windle told his colleagues.
“Bullying is an ugly monster that should frighten us all,” he added, before announcing his immediate resignation.
In a statement posted to the Morrisville town website, Mayor TJ Cawley praised Windle’s time in office.
“I appreciate his passion for public schools and his hard work to bring exceptional local public-school choices to Morrisville. As a Navy veteran himself, Jerry has positively impacted awareness and fundraising for the Veterans Memorial Project of Morrisville,” Cawley said in his statement. “For two years, he’s been an insightful collaborator on major Town decisions regarding smart development, transportation and public transit, operating budget priorities and affordable housing.”
Cawley added the Morrisville council would meet in the “near future to discuss next steps” for filling the Windle’s now-vacant position.
When he was elected in 2017, Windle was hailed by Equality NC as one of the few openly LGBTQ candidates who won municipal races in the state that year.