Nixon, who identifies as bisexual, received praise from a number of LGBTQ personalities, including Rosie O’Donnell. However, she got a chilly response from one prominent member of the queer community, Christine Quinn. The former New York City Council speaker questioned Nixon’s qualifications in a Tuesday interview with the New York Post, and deemed the actress’s gubernatorial run “a flight of fancy.”
Quinn then took aim at Nixon’s endorsement of Bill de Blasio in the 2013 Democratic primary for New York City mayor. The first woman and openly LGBTQ person to serve as New York City council speaker, Quinn ran unsuccessfully against de Blasio that year.
“Cynthia Nixon was opposed to having a qualified lesbian become mayor of New York City,” said Quinn, who has campaigned for Cuomo. “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.”
Though Nixon has been an outspoken advocate for public education, women’s rights and LGBTQ rights, many have questioned whether she has the chops to serve as a governor. A few have even drawn parallels between the actress and President Donald Trump, who lacks both political and military service.
Quinn, similarly, suggested that Nixon’s star power didn’t automatically make her suited for public office.
“She’s an accomplished actress, a supporter of political causes and that’s a good thing,” Quinn told the New York Post. “But she’s never run an organization. This is a time to move away from celebrity and toward progressive leadership.”
Quinn clarified her remarks in a series of tweets on Tuesday, saying that her criticisms of Nixon were based only on her lack of experience, not her sexuality.
Nixon, however, didn’t seem too vexed by Quinn’s criticisms. “Her being a lesbian and my being a lesbian” is not the issue, she told the New York Post.
Acknowledging that she’s never held an elected office, Nixon added, “It’s time for an outsider. I’m not an Albany insider.”