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Richard Cohen’s other outrage: Stop saying Chirlane McCray “used to be a lesbian”!

Here’s one way that Chirlane McCray, the next first lady of the nation’s largest city, has recently described her sexuality: “I am more than just a label…Labels put people in boxes, and those boxes are shaped like coffins. Finding the right person can be so hard that often, when a person finally finds someone she or he is comfortable with, she or he just makes it work.”

Here’s one way that Chirlane McCray has never been quoted describing her sexuality: “used to be a lesbian.” But that didn’t stop the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen, in the same repugnant paragraph surmising that “people with conventional views must repress a gag reflex” over McCray’s interracial family, from describing her that way. (Should I mention that he bracketed that observation in a “Should I mention” parenthetical?) Nor that it stop New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd (calling her Cohen’s “counterpart” seems a bit too cruel), in the same column that stirred campaign controversy by misquoting McCray on rival Christine Quinn, from saying McCray “wants to be the first first lady who used to be a lesbian…” (Dowd listed McCray’s sexuality next to Quinn’s same-sex marriage and Anthony Weiner’s twitter problem as examples of a “campaign season of interesting sexual proclivities and possible firsts.”)

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