In 1979 Chirlane McCray was a lesbian, out loud and proud. She said so herself, in a groundbreaking essay in ESSENCE simply called "I Am a Lesbian." That article was a revelation, perhaps the first time a Black gay woman had spoken so openly and honestly about her sexuality in a Black magazine. "I discovered my preference for women early," she wrote, "before getting locked into a traditional marriage."
Now, 34 years later, the same Chirlane McCray, 58, is happily immersed in a "traditional marriage." Her husband, Bill de Blasio, is running in one of the most fiercely contested Democratic mayoral primaries in decades, and his wife of 19 years and mother of their two teenage children is front and center in his campaign as strategist, confidante and political partner.