Christine Quinn for (Openly Gay, Female) Mayor of New York City!

feature image via Jezebel

“I’m running for mayor ’cause I love this city,” says Christine Quinn in her announcement that she’ll be running for Mayor of New York City. In the very same video, she also casually mentions:

-her involvement as a housing organizer fighting for the rights of tenants in the housing justice campaign

-her stint as an LGBT activist as the head of the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project

-that she did not grow up a zillionaire

-has balanced budgets that actually favor and prioritize fire houses, libraries and the jobs of 4,100 school teachers

-has passed living wage laws

-has passed pro-choice legislation

-has made kindergarten mandatory (kindergarten is really fucking important)

She basically checks all my boxes, pun absolutely intended. She just casually slips in there all the things I ever want in a candidate ever.

What’s more, if she winds up winning, she’ll not only be the first female mayor of New York City, but the first openly gay one as well.  She married her wife after gay marriage passed in New York, and she was a vocal supporter of that. You guys, she walked down the aisle to Ave Maria… the Beyoncé version. Also Newark Mayor Cory Booker likes her:

Carmen first covered Christine Quinn’s mayoral attempt in 2011, when she raised 1.32 million dollars to run in the 2013 election. She’s now in the running with Bill Thompson and Bill de Blasio.

Christine Quinn’s campaign — that it’s even possible — is a great reminder that shit has come a long way. Now let’s hope she wins. Lesbians in power ftw!

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A.E. Osworth

A.E. Osworth is part-time Faculty at The New School, where they teach undergraduates the art of digital storytelling. Their novel, We Are Watching Eliza Bright, about a game developer dealing with harassment (and narrated collectively by a fictional subreddit), is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing (April 2021) and is available for pre-order now. They have an eight-year freelancing career and you can find their work on Autostraddle (where they used to be the Geekery Editor), Guernica, Quartz, Electric Lit, Paper Darts, Mashable, and drDoctor, among others.

A.E. has written 542 articles for us.


  1. Ali, yes I think Quinn could be an improvement over Bloomberg (but is that saying much?), however she has a lot of ghosts in her closet and times when she didn’t step up to the plate for GLBTQ people.

    Read this piece by Pauline Park, a trans activist who knows NYC politics very well.

    She has also been a huge supporter of “stop and frisk” policies the NYPD has continued to perpetuate against black and latina trans women and other queer people.

    Moreover, she’s in cahoots with a lot of real estate developers, is getting funded by them and has not been at all supportive of low-income affordable housing in NYC.

    Just because she’s lesbian don’t assume she’s a progressive. She’s very much an establishment candidate. One of her opponents (a straight man no less) is actually quite a bit more progressive than Ms. Quinn and many GLBTQ people in the city (eg, Cynthia Nixon) are supporting her opponent instead of her.

    • Also, she is the speaker and is refusing to allow a vote on making paid sick days mandatory for all NYC businesses.

    • Hi Gina, thanks for making this comment. On a first read-through and after listening to her campaign video, at first I was kind of intrigued and curious to find out more about Quinn’s progressive credentials. Almost the first thought that went through my head, however, was “I wonder what is her stance on ‘stop and frisk'”? Then I saw the following statement on her website:

      “Helped keep our neighborhoods safe by putting more cops on the street, adding funding for more bulletproof vests for every officer while also working to improve police-community relations.”

      Somehow the “police-community relations” comment here sounded like an afterthought to the real point: NYC apparently needs more cops. Reading your comment brought the point home for me. Feeling pretty skeptical at this point about this woman’s progressive politics.

    • yeah this is all really problematic and thought-provoking, especially the stuff about the police. the statistics are already appalling w/r/t people of color being cuffed for small infractions that rich white kids get away with on the reg. i lived in new york for six years and heard a lot of unfortunate things about her policies from other queers at the time, definitely a lot to think about.

    • I want to also point out Christine Quinn’s connection to the late (closeted) mayor of NY Ed Koch (I was a resident of the city during most of his term). He used racial polarization whenever he could to prop up his powerbase, supported corrupt real estate and Wall Street interests to the max, backed the police on some very horrific incidents (like their murder of young POC Michael Stewart) and his total disregard of the AIDs epidemic. Yet Ms. Quinn was the biggest proponent of renaming the Queensboro Bridge “The Ed Koch Bridge” basically as a way of getting Koch’s support (which he later gave) and access to his middle of the road/conservative white followers (Koch has repeatedly supported republican candidates in the last several decades). If that’s not cynical politics at its worst then I don’t know what is.

  2. She also has an appalling record on animal welfare, having voted against every bill that would have improved the lot of animals in NYC. In particular, she lobbied to keep horse-drawn carriages on the streets of NYC, despite the number of horses that have collapsed and died; she even blocked the bill sponsored by 45 of the 50 council members that would require pet stores to have sprinklers, a bill introduced in response to the hundreds of dogs and cats that have burned to death in pet store fires in NYC.

    See (e.g.) for more on Quinn.

    Quinn’s deplorable attitude towards animals completely nullifies any plus points she might have earned for being gay.

    • Great comments – I am especially in agreement with you in regard to animal welfare legislation which would have cost her NOTHING in political capital to support.

      I’m not sure what it is about the LGBTQ community – why do so many of us assume that just bc a candidate is lesbian that it follows that she is also progressive. Thank you everyone for the excellent points.

  3. Yeah, as people are pointing out, while the idea of a gay woman Mayor of NYC definitely has its plus points, there are plenty of reasons to not go gaga over Christine Quinn. Although I don’t know of any superior alternatives to her at this juncture, tbh.

  4. I just wanted to second (third? fourth? fifth?) all the comments ahead of me about Christine Quinn. I want to be excited about the possibility of a lesbian mayor for NYC, especially because she is the front runner. But I have lived in NYC for years now, and I have seen the unspeakable horrible things she has done towards queer youth in the city. ESPECIALLY homeless queer youth of color (which, fyi, makes up 40% of the city’s homeless population).

    She supports “stop & frisk” police tactics that are outright racist, and have been deemed against human rights by the UN. These tactics unfairly target young people of color in New York, who can be stopped for no reason other than “looking suspicious” and have their information entered into the city’s systems. As @ginapdx already mentioned, these tactics have been particularly harmful towards transwomen of color, but also a range queer bois and girls who work and live on the streets.

    She supports a current nyc law that allows anyone stopped with more than 4 condoms in the pockets to be charged with prostitution (a law that many business owners in the predominately gay West Village and Chelsea neighborhoods have been protesting for years- not mention it goes against encouraging safe sex practices and a variety health concerns).

    She supports real estate developers that want to “revitalize” the west side piers, leaving thousands of queer kids who have made those same piers their home and safe space for YEARS without any where else to turn.

    Christine Quinn does not have interest in protecting the most vulnerable in our community. And yes, I understand that neither does Mike Bloomberg (her predecessor) or many of the other candidates currently running against her. But if she expects to, even on the slightest level, get my support because we both identify as lesbians and her being mayor would change the history books- then I need to see that her being mayor would positively effect the GLBTQ community. And, if her past records are any indication, she would set us back instead of pushing us forward.

  5. Much respect to your point of view Ali, but I am also happy to see that some of commenters here are questioning a bid by Christine Quinn for mayor. Just because she’s a lesbian, it doesn’t make her a friend to the community. Here are some articles I have seen circulating today in response to her announcement for candidacy. I found them to be pretty eye opening and wanted to share:

    and this one, which is more about the condom ban (which I knew nothing about before, like, yesterday) that Quinn helped make into law:

    • Wow, that condom law sounds insane! What if that six pack of magnums you’re carrying is for a really hot date? O.o

      Way to deter people from being responsible.

  6. i dont know much either way about quinn, but i want to thank everybody on this thread for expressing their opinions about her in a productive, genuine, non-bitchy way. there’s so much for all of us to learn and i’m excited to start that journey.

  7. It’s official. If I ever have a daughter I’m naming her Quin because you clearly can do not wrong with that name. Quinn Fabray, Tegan Quin, Sara Quin, and now of course Christine Quinn. Need I say more?

  8. She walked down the aisle to Beyonce’s version of Ave Maria?! I didn’t even know Beyonce ever sang Ave Maria! There goes my street cred.

    I want to like Christine Quinn based on what you’ve said, but the commenters are freaking me out.

  9. I also have mixed feelings about Christine Quinn but I have mixed feelings about everyone else too and my lesbian feelings do help to unmix the other feelings a teeny tiny bit. I mean a lesbian for mayor! Come on!

  10. Also she’s in support of putting a giant garbage dump aka marine transfer station basically right across the street from where I live. (Now you can all figure out where that is with some googling… haha…)

    So I wanted to like her but I can’t because selfish reasons.

  11. I’m not a resident of New York City, but I appreciate this article and especially the comments. Thanks for informing me!

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