If you haven’t heard that Cynthia Nixon is running for NY State Governor by now, you’re probably living under a rock. When I first heard the news of Nixon’s campaign, I was delighted – her character Miranda in Sex and the City a total girl boss before being a girl boss was trendy, not to mention that running for Governor is a complete Miranda move. I can already see it now: the whole cast of “Sex and the City” reuniting to throw her an incredibly chic but empowering campaign party, all while sporting coordinating yet unique outfits bearing her new campaign slogan “unqualified lesbian”.
Keeping up with the details of Nixon’s campaign journey may be a little harder than keeping up with the 2000s hit TV show, but yes, her running slogan is indeed “unqualified lesbian”. The witty term is already printed on thousands of pins and may soon expand to every campaign merch you can imagine, from crewnecks to mugs, due to popular demand. (Want your own “unqualified lesbian” pin? Just hit https://secure.actblue.com/donate/merch-cn-unqualifiedlesbian?refcode=tw).
But where did all this begin? Upon hearing Nixon’s campaign debut, former New York City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn, was quick to call her out. In a March interview with the New York Post, Quinn remarked, “Cynthia Nixon was opposed to having a qualified lesbian become mayor of New York City. Now she wants to be an unqualified lesbian to be the governor of New York… Being an actress and celebrity doesn’t make you qualified for public office”. The first half of Quinn’s bold remark referred to Quinn’s own bid for Mayor in 2013, in which Nixon’s wife backed her opponent Bill DeBlasio (Quinn, like Nixon, identifies as a lesbian).
Despite Nixon’s previous support for fellow NY Democrats like Mayor DeBlasio and Governor Cuomo, she is now claiming that Cuomo did not do enough in his term as Governor. Nixon claims that despite all Cuomo has accomplished while in office, he has still held back on major issues such as fixing the MTA, resolving the wage gap, and reinvesting in lower end communities. In her campaign policy, she vows to resolve the issues that Cuomo ignored due to his involvement in the supposed corruption that consumes Albany. To learn more about her campaign simply visit cynthiafornewyork.com.
While Quinn may be valid in her statement that Nixon’s lack of experience in governing may not attest her as the most qualified person for the job, the delivery of her speech was off the mark. It’s especially shocking that this kind of comment came from a fellow Democrat, feminist, and lesbian herself. With the dismal state of today’s political climate, seeing Quinn make such a derogatory comment towards a fellow openly gay female politician is disappointing, to say the least. Although Quinn has since apologized on twitter, clarifying that “Cynthia Nixon’s identity has no bearing on her candidacy” and that “the real point I am trying to make is that qualifications matter and records matter,” the fact that she included the word “lesbian” in her original comment shows that she is not as accepting and forward-thinking as she promotes. Simply removing that one word from her original remark would have completely changed her statement from being about Cynthia’s sexual orientation to being about her sheer qualifications. And while it may seem like a minor difference to some, to LGBTQ+ New Yorkers and allies, it makes all the difference.