The wife of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio touted her qualifications to head a group of young people in New York as part of a "program for runaway and homeless youth who are often LGBTQI" by telling them that she once "identified as a lesbian."
Chirlane McCray, 64, who has been married to failed Democratic presidential candidate de Blasio, 58, since 1994, said her early years in New York City were marked with the struggles of being a gay person, making her uniquely qualified to head up the program. "When I came to New York City, long ago back in 1977, I identified as a lesbian, so I know intimately the struggles that young people have had,” McCray said of her ability to relate to the youth. “I was not rejected by my family like so many of these young people are, but it’s really difficult."
McCray penned an essay for Essence magazine in 1979 titled " I am a Lesbian ," in which she outlined the hardships and challenges of being a gay woman. Of her marriage to de Blasio, she said their relationship was that of a "very conventional, unconventional couple," and that she was able to fall in love with her husband "by putting aside the assumptions I had about the form and package my love would come in."
The program described by McCray will ostensibly support "qualified" 16-24 year-old youth and assist them in finding mental health assistance, jobs, paid internships, and other services. The work will be in partnership with McCray, the Department of Youth and Community Development and the NYC Center for Youth Employment partnership.