Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch Celebrates Gay Pride


Actually, ‘celebrate’ may not be the right word. As the former New York City mayor watched the parade floats go by, his shirt was stained by some sort of liquid projectile.


He didn’t appear to be very happy about it, notes Flickr member Boss Tweed, who took these shots.


Koch, a lifelong bachelor, has always denied he is gay, despite rumors that followed him throughout his political career. In 1977, in his mayoral race against Mario Cuomo, when faced with an opposing slogan that said “Vote for Cuomo, not the homo,” Koch replied, “No, I am not a homosexual. If I were a homosexual, I would hope I would have the courage to say so. What’s cruel is that you are forcing me to say I am not a homosexual. This means you are putting homosexuals down. I don’t want to do that.”

In 1998, in a 30th anniversary issue of New York magazine, Koch repeated the denials: “Anytime you are mayor, you have critics, and one of the most persistent was Larry Kramer, who happens to live in my apartment building in the Village, and who ran around screaming that somehow I could have prevented AIDS. And the fact is, I did more on AIDS, and more to promote civil rights for gay people, than any other mayor in the country. Kramer’s thrust was that I was afraid that if I showed concern, people would think I was gay. He wasn’t the only one who said that, of course. Listen, there’s no question that some New Yorkers think I’m gay, and voted for me nevertheless. The vast majority don’t care, and others don’t think I am. And I don’t give a shit either way! What do I care? I’m 73 years old. I find it fascinating that people are interested in my sex life at age 73. It’s rather complimentary! But as I say in my book, my answer to questions on this subject is simply Fuck off. There have to be some private matters left.”

Below, openly gay New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Michael Bloomberg at this year’s parade.


NYC Gay Pride [Boss Tweed – Flickr]


  1. Aaron Rowland says

    I really hope Bloomberg runs for president. He would definately have my vote.

  2. K.P. says

    Bloomberg dipped into the parade just for the photo opp, then ducked out. Most parade-goers did not see him.

  3. says

    Koch can say what he wants. I knew his ex-lover Dick Nathan. Dick died in the 90’s, was an active member of many organizations and served on the board of NGLTF.

  4. Tom says

    Actually, I prefer it if Koch wasn’t gay. We have enough bad examples plaguing our community, we don’t need a pathetic creature like Koch added to the roster. If he’s not in the closet as a homosexual, he’s not in the closet as a Republican and a Bush supporter either.

  5. gabe says

    I didn’t see Bloomberg from where I was standing….17th and 5th. Why bother showing up at all if you can’t do the entire length of the parade? Or at least 8th Street? I know it’s more than 50 blocks but them drag queens walked that walk in 5 inch stilletos!

  6. Gregg says

    I think it’s more important that Bloomberg was photographed than that he walked the entire route. The photo is a lasting record. It would have been nice if he walked the full route, but far more people will see this picture than the number of people who would have glimpsed him on the route.

  7. anon ( says

    Well, if he’s willing to be photographed walking the parade, Bloomberg is probably not running for president.

  8. b mac says

    i walked that parade yesterday and it took NINE HOURS. frankly i’d rather he spend his time working. the show of support & photo op is enough.

  9. ProfessorVP says

    Koch misspoke again. I lived in NY back then, and nobody over the age of 8 thought Koch wasn’t gay, that’s how obvious it was. Even when he was “dating” Bess Myerson and showing up everywhere with her, nobody bought it. The only true thing Koch said was that a lot of people thought he was gay and didn’t care. If anybody had the chance to come out with impunity, it was Ed. He was immensely popular at the time, winning the mayoralty as both a Democrat AND a Republican. An opportunity lost.

  10. Andy Humm says

    Bloomberg Chooses St. Patrick Over Rabbi Kleinbaum
    Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of New York’s LGBT synagogue, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, and one of the grand marshals of the city’s LGBT Pride March, criticized Mayor Michael Bloomberg for refusing to march with the community past St. Patrick’s Cathedral and only entering it at 48th Street – and exiting north of 23rd Street before the march swung through Greenwich Village. For the 25 blocks he walked, he was with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn who started marching from 52nd Street.

    “Shame on you, Mr. Bloomberg,” she said at a press conference for Heritage of Pride kicking off the march at 52nd Street. “We expect you to be at the head of the march.”

    Ed Skyler, a deputy mayor, told the New York Sun, “The mayor wants to avoid some of the disrespectful acts that have taken place near St. Patrick’s Cathedral during the past parades.” Mayors Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani similarly dissed march participants in this way, with only David Dinkins marching the entire route.

    While some marchers shout “Shame!” at the symbol of the anti-gay Catholic Church, nothing worthy of condemnation by the Catholic League has been noted in recent years. Still, on LGBT Pride Day, St. Patrick’s resembles a fortress cordoned off by police barricades, with no one allowed to stand on its steps or enter through its front doors.

    Several Fifth Avenue churches send their ministers and congregants out into the streets to serve cups of water to thirsty marchers, an idea that does not seem to have occurred to Cardinal Edward Egan or the rector of St. Patrick’s.

  11. fred fartandjackoff says

    Anyone want to bet Bloomberg is at least bi, if not gay? He talks about “my girlfriend” all the time, and that voice – it’s so gay! Agh, yuck – the guy’s a total creep, BUSH’s biggest financial backer. A flaming fascist too; it’s news that he is pushing a new law to ban video cameras in NYC, and make amateur newshound crews of 2 or more obtain $1 million of insurance. You see, with the Internet We the People are confronting the scoundrels, exposing them with video confrontations to be the scumbags they are: George Allen and the “MaKAKA Moment; Rudy Guiliani confronted on how he told Peter Jennings on 9/11 that he was warned the Towers were going to fall, but then testified to the contrary. Our dictators can no longer rely on the Corporate Media Whores to slant the Bullshit, and so now they want to change the rules. BLOOMBERG – go fuck yourself you closet case!