When America was recently introduced to New York City’s first family and their famous “smack down” dance, the excitement was palpable. This is a unique and beautiful family who look a lot like the melting pot of our nation.
Beyond the political victory, however, emerged the 1979 Essence article in which Chirlane McCray identified herself as lesbian. Listen to her describe how she went from lesbian to her marriage with Bill de Blasio in this Huff Post Live interview (2 minutes 23 seconds).
For me, there are several striking elements about this story:
First, I applaud Chirlane for her comfort answering difficult questions directly and honestly. At times she is offered a way out of the complexity about her sexuality, but she rejects easy outs and instead offers a vulnerable and honest picture of her sexuality.
Second, I am struck by how similar Chirlane’ story is to the many individuals who experience SSA and are heterosexually married. She does not claim to be straight: she simply says that “…people grow and change and some people are more risk-taking than others.”
Finally, I am (pleasantly) surprised that most in the media have accepted her story as is. Had she mentioned faith, the bible or being born again, she “could” have been subjected to tremendous criticism. Were she the wife of a conservative politician, she “could” have been fodder for the media.
I find Chirlane’s honesty quite admirable. I find the media’s reaction quite compassionate. I find hope any time I see compassion in place of criticism. If a purely secular experience can yield this kind of marriage, then adding God and faith only make it even more possible. That it is possible does not mean it is probable, easy or the right decision for everyone.
All said, it remains confusing to many people as illustrated in the following Huff Post Live comment:
To “begin” to understand, you can start here.
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