Meet Chirlane McCray: How She Went From Lesbian Advocate to First Lady Of New York City

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The Common Good Cocktail PartyBy: Krystle Crossman

Mayoral elect Bill de Blasio has always had his wife, Chirlane McCray, by his side during his campaigns. She is an advisor on his team even though she doesn’t get paid for the job. He features her in his campaign material. They are very much in the public eye as a couple, but there is one thing that they have kept silent on. McCray had an interesting past before she met her husband. She used to be a lesbian.

McCray had serious relationships with women before meeting de Blasio and in an interview with Essence in 1979 said that she was thankful for the fact that she was able to identify herself as a lesbian before she married a man. She did not give a reason as to why she ended up marrying a man other than she had found the love of her life when she met de Blasio in 1991 while working at City Hall.

The two were married in 1994 in Prospect Park. At their wedding they had interracial, gay, and interdenominational ministers as well as an African drumming band and Italian folk band. They speak out for marriage equality and are well-known for their positive stance on gay rights. The couple has had two children together.

Before dipping her feet into political waters McCray was a writer for Redbook and Essence. She was also a member of the Combahee River Collective which was a group made up of African-American feminists who were lesbians. Her biography on her husband’s campaign sites do not mention that the group was made up of lesbians. McCray and de Blasio keep her past silent when in the public eye, but if asked about her past they are usually quite forthcoming.

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16 Comments

  1. Thomas D. Broadwater, Sr. on

    When we all mature enough to understand that it is not skin color that divide us, it is ignorance. tom

  2. Apparently, she’s no longer identifies with this lifestyle, and we should respectfully acknowledge that. That’s “Their private life”. Lets focus on her husband and not so much on her….

  3. SADKY BLACK MEN WERENT GOOD ENOUGH FOR HER EITHER , SO SHE RATHER GO TO BAT FOR THE OTHER TEAM INSTEAD BUT DEFINITELY NOT A BROTHER THEY ARE JUST TOO MUCH BAGGAGE LOL

  4. SADLY BLACK MEN WEREN’T GOOD ENOUGH FOR HER EITHER , SO SHE RATHER GO TO BAT FOR THE OTHER TEAM INSTEAD BUT DEFINITELY NOT A BROTHER THEY ARE JUST TOO MUCH BAGGAGE LOL

  5. When will people learn that being “gay” only means that you are capable of loving someone so much that their gender, less known race, even matters.

  6. Sista from City of Brotherly Love & Sisterly Affection on

    I think this administration will be different from all the others and the Big Apple with embrace them dearly. I think they are a match made in heaven. What I like about them, she is right there by her man’s side and that’s the way it is suppose to be.

    I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Research studies and psychologists have long accepted that there are people who are legitimately “bisexual”, which the first lady elect of NYC likely is. Often people do not understand that bisexual is a true identity and not a “lifestyle” that changes. Just as individuals have a racial/ethnic identity that does not change and is NOT reflective of a “lifestyle”. We should avoid comments such as “she used to be a lesbian” because that would suggest that she cannot have the capacity to be attracted to and be in love with male identified or female identified persons. Again, we must read and educate ourselves so that when current events such as these arise, we can make informed commentary.

  8. SO What? Who cares about her lifestyle? We always have to find nonsense to write about that is irrelevant then position it as responsible journalism. WOW!!! Whether Mrs Mcray deBlasio was/ is gay, straight or bisexual that is not our concern. How about writing what Mayor-elect deBlasio will do for our city.
    So what was the purpose of this article. So that we would know and????? Is it suppose to change something? I don’t get it.
    Let’s celebrate their victory. Already folks trying to tear her down. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy

    • Her s-xuality doesn’t matter to you, but it matters to those who care about traditional family values. Perhaps, her “sympathy” for gay lifestyles will influence the one she loves, her husband, a public official who influences laws.

      I’m not sure whether you care about gay marriage becoming “normal.” Some of us are. I don’t want legislators spending time with gay rights legislation when we have other issues that are of importance to me.

      There are people who are FOR gay rights, gay marriage, medical benefits for gay parrtners, etc. There are others who don’t want these topics to become “normal.” Call me anti-gay if you want. I’m an old-fashioned Black man who knows that this “new lifestyle” is not new. I’ve never read of a nation of mostly gay people. Have you ever, in the history of man, known of a economically thriving, healthy nation that was 50%, 75% or 95% gay? If so, point to that nation.

      • “Traditional Family Values?” That’s a laugh. Divorce, adultery, domestic violence is all the rage in the hererosexual traditional family values. The only thing that truly matters in life is love. But hey, I’m sue that sounds silly to you with you traditional mind set.

        • The current dysfunctional nation needs repair. Many heterosexual nations are dysfunctional. But it’s not rational to go mostly or 95% gay. Are you suggesting that a mostly gay nation is a GREAT alternative to the dysfunction we now have? Where is your example of the gay thriving country?
          FACT: Heterosexuals don’t need gay people to survive or thrive, but gay people NEED heterosexuals to procreate unless artificial insemination becomes normal.

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