New York Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is often criticized for using his African American wife to appeal to the African American constituency for votes. Now critics claim de Blasio and his wife are coughing up another ploy to get the LGBT community behind his campaign for mayor of NYC.
News broke recently that de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, was a lesbian before meeting the man she describes as her “soul mate” in 1991. McCray issued a statement about her past experience as a lesbian after a 1979 essay she wrote for Essence Magazine titled “I am a Lesbian” was published on Politicker.com.
McCray said: “In the 1970s, I identified as a lesbian and wrote about it. In 1991, I met the love of my life, married him and together we’ve raised two amazing kids. I am reminded every day how lucky I am to have met my soul mate.”
The seven-page article, written when she was 24, describes her relief in discovering her interest in women “before getting locked into a traditional marriage and having children.” She also revealed that her first intimate experience with a woman was when she was 17-years-old. “Although both of us had slept with men, neither of us had been intimate with a woman before,’ she said. ‘We didn’t even [know] any lesbians.” She continued to describe the hardships of ‘coming out': “I survived the tears, the isolation and the feeling that something was terribly wrong with me for loving another woman. Coming to terms with my life as a lesbian has been easier for me than it has been for many. Since I don’t look or dress like the typical bulldagger, I have a choice as to whether my s*xual preference is known.”
McCray and de Blasio have been strong supporters of gay marriage. Last year, the couple wrote a joint statement for Go! Magazine after the law permitting gay marriage was passed: “We both believe passionately in the rights of our gay and lesbian friends and family members. But on a more personal level, we are deeply conscious that there was a time not long ago when our own marriage would have been impossible in much of the country.”
Christine Quinn, de Blasio’s contender, is running a historic campaign to become the city’s first lesbian mayor.