De Blasio’s Wife: Yes, I Was Once A Lesbian, But Not Anymore


This is an amazing flip-flop: Chirlane McCray, wife of likely Republican Democratic New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, was forced to release a statement yesterday admitting that, yes, she was a lesbian before she met her husband, currently the city's public advocate.

"[I] identified as a lesbian and wrote about it," she said after Hunter Walker at The Observer dug up a 1979 Essence magazine article Ms. McCray wrote called "I Am a Lesbian."

"I survived the tears, the isolation and the feeling that something was terribly wrong with me for loving another woman," she 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.”

Then, a sentence that she could never have known could complicate a future husband's political career: "I have also been fortunate because I discovered my preference for women early, before getting locked into a traditional marriage and having children.”

Reacting to the story yesterday, McCray said that meeting Bill in 1991 changed everything: "In 1991, I met the love of my life, married him, and together we’ve raised two amazing kids. I’m reminded every day how lucky I am to have met my soul mate."


  1. Tom in long beach says

    As long as she is really happy is all that matters. Correct me if I am wrong but perhaps females really do have more a more fluid sexuality. That said everyone should be on the side of equality.

  2. rjp3 says

    I am happy for her and her fluid preferences — there should be no issue with bisexuality and fluid sexuality – except that it is MISUSED and these types often say they “changed” when they are just in a different place and live on a bisexual cusp. Silly and telling how simple our “black and white” brains are.

  3. rjp3 says

    The not anymore part is what pisses me off – you are who you are: She is afraid to say my life has been one of bisexuality – there is no way her attraction to women has stopped 100% just because she married a man – just like no man stops being attracted to other women once he gets married. Does not happen.

  4. Hugh says

    I won’t knock it. I think the natural reaction from some gay people is to be defensive, but it takes some people their whole lives to become comfortable with their sexuality. As long as she’s not raining down hellfire from a pulpit, who really cares?

  5. Steve says

    She probably found Jesus along the way and now she pretends to be straight instead of bisexual. Nothing to be applauded.

  6. mike8787 says

    I don’t understand why people refuse to use the word bisexual. Your orientation isn’t based on the specific partner you have at this very moment; it reflects your sexual interest in people of one (or, likely here, two) sex or gender.

  7. MichaelJ says

    DeBlasio is a fairly progressive Democrat who represented a liberal City Council district before becoming Public Advocate. A correction needs to be posted.

  8. Sam says

    After reading the title of this blog post, my first thought was she was against gay marriage, would be the next spokeswoman for “ex-gay” therapy with the anti-gay religious right, and would be on Porno Pete’s website celebrating her so-called “healing.” Thankfully, this quote I found in the Politicker story addressed my concerns.

    “Last June, after New York legalized same-sex marriage, Mr. de Blasio and Ms. McCray co-authored a piece for GO! magazine praising marriage equality and reflecting on their own position as an interracial couple.”

    I imagine this is a deal breaker for Porno Pete and his crew, to which I say good.

  9. DavidGroff says

    De Blasio is not a Republican! God forbid. He’s a highly progressive and visionary Democrat–far more so than Christine Quinn, who is in thrall to Mayor Bloomberg and various moneyed interests in New York City–and the best candidate for mayor we have so far.

  10. Steve says

    It doesn’t matter if she is a willing participant. If she talks like that and implies that she is no longer gay, she is a a perfect poster child for the ex-gay industry.

  11. Craig S says

    She’s evidently remained an outspoken supporter of LGBT issues and equality rights (her husband is as well), so I’m not all that concerned about how she chooses to identify her sexuality.

    And, at any rate, from what I can tell her statement doesn’t seem to say anything about “not being a lesbian anymore”. She explicitly avoids saying that she actually identifies as heterosexual; she just says she’s married to a man, leaving identities like “bisexual” and “lesbian who happens to have fallen in love with a man” (which is hardly unprecedented, just look at Anne Kronenberg) very much available to her.

    We’re entirely too hung up sometimes on the idea that sexuality is an either/or proposition, when in fact for many people it’s a fluid state that can change over time. It’s actually fairly common for people to experience a sexual or romantic attraction that doesn’t fit in with their prior conception of their sexuality — and people respond to that experience in all kinds of different ways, reconceptualizing their lives and identities in intensely personal ways. But seriously — as long as she remains an ally of our community and a supporter of our equality rights, what does it matter?

  12. BGKev says

    Why is it so out of the realm of possibility that for a handful of individuals it changes? The evidence is that for the overwhelming majority it doesn’t, but it doesn’t seem like she has an axe to grind.

  13. Hugh says

    I’m not going to make any judgements on her sexuality and the experiences in her life, frankly b/c I’m not her and I’m not a mind-reader. I wouldn’t want anyone putting a label on me, other than the one I give myself, nor would I put a label on her just to make her fit my worldview. I also think the latter comes off as pretty passive-aggressive.

    I will say I’m happily surprised there aren’t more angry comments. Over at the lesbian forums they’re more accepting of fluid sexuality, but over here, we tend to be really defensive on the subject, downright heavyhanded most times. I’m glad we’re not we’re not all wielding pitchforks this time around.

  14. Your Mom says

    Politicians lie. So do their spouses. She showed her true colors by using a term like “bulldagger” way back when.

  15. Fausto Fernandez says

    If you had one homosexual experience and you desired it, enjoyed it and hoped for more, you have a homosexual orientation. If you feel the same for the opposite sex, you may be called bisexual. A true cure does not mean that you have been trained to have heterosexual sex. A true cure means that you DON’T have attraction anymore for your own sex, and that just doesn’t happen. If you’re left-handed you may be TRAINED to use your right hand, but your orientation will always be left-handedness

  16. Dr. Ruth says

    No problem with her addressing both sides of her sexuality, and think it’s great if she is now in a stable, monogamous marriage.

    But she shouldn’t have to pretend she was broken and in need of fixing by the white man. Says more about her psyche than her sexuality.

  17. Donny Moss says

    The press made no mention of the Kinsey Scale. Perhaps Ms. McCray lies somewhere in between gay and straight on the scale. It doesn’t really matter because she and her husband have been advocating for gay rights for years and are far more intelligent and progressive than Christine Quinn, who has sold her constituents (including the LGBT community) down the river whenever it has been politically expedient.

  18. Derrick from Philly says

    At the time she used the term “bulldagger” she was a Lesbian (a bisexual one we know now). Lesbians are allowed to use the term “bulldagger” just like Gay men are allowed to use the term “f.ggot”. Just like Black folks are allowed to use the n-word. Just like Southerners are allowed to use “redneck”. Just like….and on and on and on.

    I have an old OLD friend who still uses the term “fish” for women. I told him to stop…about 1,000 times now.

  19. Mary says

    Since Mrs. De Blasio hasn’t claimed that she is no longer attracted to women I can only guess that she still has her old attractions and therefore isn’t really “straight” despite being married to a man. Why can’t she just say that she is proud to be a bisexual woman? More and more women are coming out as bisexual every day.

  20. cateblanchettc says

    my best friend’s sister-in-law makes $84/hr on the laptop. She has been laid off for 9 months but last month her pay check was $14706 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more here http://www.Tips15.US

  21. baffled says

    How can a New York-based journalist not know that Bill de Blasio is a Democrat? He lives in Park Slope!

  22. R says

    What she wrote in response was really strange and creates more questions than answers, when the answer could have been very simple.

    She could have just said she’s bisexual, and it would have been ‘problem solved.’

    Either way, it’s her life, she can do whatever she wants to do. I won’t get upset about this sort of thing, so long as she doesn’t advocate any crazy ‘ex-gay’ therapy, and she’s thankfully not doing that here.

  23. says

    If Ms. McCray identified as a lesbian 30 years ago and now she doesn’t, that’s her business. It would become our business if she were promoting ex-gay therapies or saying Jesus turned her straight or proselytizing on how much better her life is now that she’s no longer a lesbian or supporting anti-gay legislature with her husband, because all of that is hypocrisy and detrimental to a large segment of the population.

    That’s not what’s going on here. She and her husband are both liberals who supported gay marriage in New York state. Her own wedding was presided over by two gay ministers.

    Whether she identifies as gay or straight or bisexual is really no concern of mine because she and her husband continue to fight the good fight and stand on the side of equality. How or why their relationship works should matter to two people – Chirlaine McCray and Bill de Blasio. Everyone else can have a seat.

  24. Bill says

    There is nothing ex-gay here. She liked women, self-identified as a lesbian, and then realized that her preference was broader than just gay or straight. That she is with a man now does not change her orientation. She is a bisexual woman. Good for her for recognizing that she is free to decide who she wants to love.

  25. DC Arnold says

    When I was in the military we termed it a marriage of convenience. Repug or Dixiecrat, looks like Bi’s managed to find one another.

  26. Cora says

    Tom In Long Beach, I think you are actually WRONG. There might be SOME women (and men as a matter of fact) who probably do find their sexuality to be fluid. But MOST men and women, especially gay women would find that idea to be very insulting and wrong. For MANY people there is NOTHING fluid about their orientation, and nothing will ever change them. They are who they are and are hard-wired (born) that way. I know LOT’S of gay women who find the idea of being with a man sexually to be repulsive (no offence to anyone here) and they KNOW that nothing about that will change.

  27. Cora says

    Hugh, I know quite a few gay men who are opened to the idea of fluid sexuality among people. Although I would say MOST people are not fluid, and that’s why many people (including gay women actually) find the idea of fluidity to be insulting.