When Cynthia Nixon announced her bid for Governor of New York, a politician branded the former SATC star an “unqualified lesbian”. Now, Nixon has issued a response…
Earlier this week, Cynthia Nixon – who shot to fame as Miranda Hobbs in HBO’s Sex and the City – announced that she is running for governor.
Nixon made her announcement via Twitter, in a video that described the New York that she knew from her own childhood and hinted at the themes her campaign will focus on, including health care, overcrowded subways, school funding and mass incarceration.
“I was given chances that I just don’t see for most of New York’s kids today,” she says over a shot of her walking her son, Max, to school.
“Our leaders are letting us down. We are now the most unequal state in the entire country, with both incredible wealth and extreme poverty.”
But, while her announcement was met with support on social media, the former Speaker of the New York City Council Christine Quinn has since branded Nixon an “unqualified lesbian”.
Quinn, who is gay herself, was defeated in the 2013 Democratic primary for NYC Mayor, during which Nixon supported a rival candidate.
According to the New York Post, Quinn said: “It’s a flight of fancy on her part. 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.
“You have to be qualified and have experience. She isn’t qualified to be the governor.”
Nixon has since responded to the comments, speaking at a campaign rally held at New York City’s iconic LGBT landmark Stonewall Inn.
Opening the event, she said: “Welcome, unqualified lesbians, and qualified ones too! Welcome to the trans community, welcome to queer people of every stripe, and our beautiful straight allies.”
According to Pink News, Nixon continued: “We have to mix things up, we have to upend the status quo, we have to fight back and we have to speak truth in a way that not everybody likes.
“Yesterday, when I announced my candidacy, one of Governor Cuomo’s top surrogates dismissed me as an ‘unqualified lesbian’.
“I just want to say tonight that she was technically right. I don’t have my certificate from the Department of Lesbian Affairs. But in my defence, there is a lot of paperwork involved.”
Nixon also addressed Quinn’s comments during an interview with the New York Post, pointing out that “her being a lesbian and my being a lesbian” is not the issue.
She added that the race was about “the corruption in Albany. It’s time for an outsider. I’m not an Albany insider.”
Quinn has since apologised for her remarks, telling Time Magazine: “Cynthia Nixon’s identity has no bearing on her gubernatorial candidacy and it was not my intention to suggest it did.
“I want to be clear about that. I would never, ever, criticise someone because of their identity.
“I’ve experienced that kind of criticism time and time again and I would never support it or condone it.”
Before meeting her future wife, Christine Marinoni, Nixon was previously in a long-term relationship with her male high school sweetheart Danny Mozes.
The pair began dating in 1988, going on to have two children together, and they stayed together until 2003 – just one year before Nixon entered a relationship with feminist activist, Marinoni.
“I had never dated a woman before or even kissed a woman or anything,” she told the Radio Times.
“So when we started seeing each other, Christine kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, for me to panic about what this would mean – to my career or to myself – as if somehow I just hadn’t noticed that she was a woman.
“And then she met my mother and that was when she stopped worrying about it.”
The duo – who welcomed a son of their own in 2011 – became engaged in 2009, and married in 2012.
And, while Nixon is technically “unqualified”, she has been active in political circles surrounding the issues of education, LGBTQ rights, breast cancer awareness, and women’s health care.
She first made national headlines in politics when she became involved in the 2011 campaign to legalise same-same marriage in New York, and has been honoured for for LGBT visibility by GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign.
Nixon is also a spokesperson for the Alliance for Quality Education, and an advocate for women’s health care – both in her work on breast cancer awareness and reproductive rights. She has worked with Planned Parenthood, and in 2016 wrote an essay for TIME about her mother’s abortion and a woman’s right to choose.
Image: Rex Features