Sex and the City actress and gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon roasted Christine Quinn in a tweet for calling her an "unqualified lesbian." And as you might imagine, the burn sent Nixon's supporters in a tizzy. The candidate entered the race for governor of New York on March 19 and the aspiring politician has already faced a fair amount of backlash. In fact, some of that criticism has come from members of the LGBTQ community. But on Wednesday night, Nixon let everyone know she isn't discouraged in the slightest.
Quinn is a former New York City Council speaker who supports incumbent candidate Andrew Cuomo. In 2013 Nixon endorsed Bill de Blasio instead of Quinn in the New York City mayoral race, so when Nixon announced she was making her own political bid, Quinn made this scoffing remark to the New York Post:
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.
Subsequently, Quinn has clarified on Twitter that "Nixon’s identity has no bearing on her candidacy." She added: "The real point I am trying to make is that qualifications matter and records matter. I do not believe she has the qualifications or the record."
Still, that didn’t stop Nixon from responding to Quinn’s "unqualified lesbian" remark:
Although Quinn referred to Nixon’s bid as a celebrity’s "flight of fancy," she also praised Nixon. “She’s an accomplished actress, a supporter of political causes, and that’s a good thing," Quinn told the New York Post. "Participating in rallies is important."
But Quinn questioned whether that was enough to lead the state. Nixon is not the first entertainer to make her foray into politics after President Donald Trump, former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former president Ronald Reagan. Most recently, "Oprah for 2020" became such a popular theme that Oprah had to come out and say no, she is "definitely not running" for president.
Quinn noted to the New York Post that Nixon has never run an organization. "Being an actress and celebrity doesn’t make you qualified for public office," she said. "This is a time to move away from celebrity and toward progressive leadership.”
She then listed the credentials of Nixon’s opponent Gov. Cuomo.
“Gov. Cuomo’s accomplished [a lot] including a $15 minimum wage, opposing fracking and she’s on record supporting the governor on marriage equality,” Quinn said. “Why are we having this primary? Democrats should be united and focusing on winning control of the state Senate and taking back the House of Representatives.”
Amid the public discussion on Nixon’s qualifications, there are also at least a couple conversations swirling around Nixon’s discussions on sexuality. One is about the erasure of bisexuality.
Nixon has been candid that despite claims she came out as a lesbian, Nixon was just as attracted to her ex-boyfriends and she is now to her wife Christine Marinoni. “I think for gay people who feel 100 percent gay, it doesn’t make any sense. And for straight people who feel 100 percent straight, it doesn’t make any sense,” Nixon said in a 2012 interview with the Daily Beast. “I don’t pull out the ‘bisexual’ word because nobody likes the bisexuals. Everybody likes to dump on the bisexuals.”
The other conversation is about a statement Nixon made referring to sexuality as a choice. That same year Nixon told the New York Times, "A certain section of our community is very concerned that it not be seen as a choice, because if it’s a choice, then we could opt out. I say it doesn’t matter if we flew here or we swam here, it matters that we are here and we are one group and let us stop trying to make a litmus test for who is considered gay and who is not.” (Later Nixon clarified that her relationship with a woman was a choice, not her bisexuality.)
Nowadays the actress has been talking more about her ambition to tackle big-money interests in New York. At a rally in Brooklyn Nixon described Albany as a "cesspool" of corruption.
I think that everybody understands the corruption in Albany has been really bad for decades and I think under the Cuomo administration, he’s brought it to a new high or a new low, however you want to think about that. And I think it’s time for an outsider. I am not an Albany insider.
It looks like Gov. Cuomo has some competition ahead. The New York Democratic primaries will be held June 26.