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Bill de Blasio’s wife Chirlane McCray on the “fluidity of love” and the political spotlight

In the upcoming issue of Essence, New York City mayoral-hopeful Bill de Blasio's wife Chirlane McCray gives a brilliantly candid interview about her life as a "gay trailblazer" turned "politician's wife." McCray's sexual history as a lesbian, it seems, has turned a couple involved in a Democratic political primary into a national curiosity. The interview is a frank conversation that covers politics, race and the long and winding road of sexual experience that led her to marrying de Blasio, or, as McCray explains it, "the form and package my love would come in."

In 1979, McCray wrote a feature, also for Essence, discussing her life as an openly-gay black woman based on a desire to "dispel the myth that there are no gay black people" and tell other black women "you are not alone," she says. Then, in 1991, McCray met de Blasio while working at City Hall and, unexpectedly, fell in love.

After years as a politically and sexually self-possessed black lesbian, McCray admits it was an adjustment to realize that she had fallen in love with a white man; but she says the experience felt more personal revelation than label reorientation:

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