In December of last year, Politicker published a seven-page 1979 Essence magazine article where Chirlane McCray, the wife of mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, frankly discussed her identity as a lesbian. The news made waves, amplified by a New York Post cartoon condemned as offensive. Now, more than six months after our report and decades after the original essay, Ms. McCray returned to Essence‘s pages to discuss Mr. de Blasio, her sexual identity and more.
“I came out at 17. I hadn’t really dated any men. I thought, Whoa, what is this?” she said at one point in the Essence interview, when asked about entering her relationship with Mr. de Blasio. “But I also didn’t think, Oh, now I’m attracted to men. I was attracted to Bill. He felt like the perfect person for me.”
War of Words
Bill de Blasio has had enough of Andrea Peyser.
The New York Post columnist once again slammed the public advocate in a column today, claiming the mayoral candidate is “daring the media” to write about his wife’s past as a lesbian activist and that he is “protesting way too much.”
A rally hosted by Al Sharpton’s National Action Network this morning that was ostensibly held to discuss the situation in the State Senate featured all of the likely Democratic mayoral candidates blasting the New York Post for a cartoon the tabloid published in response to Politicker’s story about Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray’s, past as a lesbian activist. Mr. de Blasio, with Ms. McCray by his side, was the last of the candidates to speak. Mr. de Blasio began by thanking Ms. Sharpton for supporting him and his wife in the days since the story came out, which he said had been “painful and challenging for us.” He went on to talk about meeting Ms. McCray.
“Twenty one years ago Chirlane and I were working in City Hall for Mayor Dinkins. I met this beautiful, strong woman. And I’ve said many times, for me it was love at first sight. It may have taken Chirlane a little longer,” said Mr. de Blasio. “I got to know her and I saw a human being that I fell deeper and deeper in love with, a human being. And I am so proud of the years of struggle and activism, of what she did for women, for the LGBT community, for people of color and the anti-apartheid movement. I am so proud of this woman and the good work she did.”
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, an all-but-officially announced mayoral hopeful, has prominently featured his wife Chirlane McCray in his campaign literature and on his web site. Despite Ms. McCray’s front-and-center role in his campaign, for which she also serves as an unpaid advisor, one aspect of her life has thus far remained out of the public eye.
Prior to meeting Mr. de Blasio, Ms. McCray identified as a lesbian and had several long-term relationships with other women. In a seven-page essay she wrote for the September 1979 issue of Essence magazine entitled “I am a Lesbian” she frankly discussed her sexuality and expressed gratitude that she came to terms with her preference for women before marrying a man.
“I survived the tears, the isolation and the feeling that something was terribly wrong with me for loving another woman” Ms. McCray wrote. “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 sexual preference is known.”
54th Assembly District
The first round of campaign filings for the 54th Assembly District gives a glimpse into the proxy battle between three of Brooklyn’s power brokers.
Deidra Towns, raised $93,915, the most of any candidate, and also had the most corporate donations with $20,650.
Her father, Congressman Ed Towns, gave $1,000 from his personal account and $3,000 from his reelection fund, and appears to have leaned on some friends in the Congressional Black Caucus.