On-screen stars campaigning for political office is nothing new. From Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump, the celebrities who grace America’s screens occasionally grace our ballots too. Most recently, Cynthia Nixon, a progressive feminist and star of “Sex and the City,” rocked the entire nation from New York State to Hollywood when she launched her gubernatorial campaign on Twitter on March 19.
Take note of how I called Nixon an activist before actress. Educated at Barnard College, she became a strong progressive figure in New York, specifically advocating for public education. Although many know and love her as Miranda Hobbes, she is so much more: a viable and vibrant candidate capable of fairly representing feminists, the LGBTQ community and Jewish New Yorkers.
Nixon’s actions over the past decade transformed her from an actress to an experienced woman who is trustworthy and courageous. Her campaign launched with a video conveying a positive, ambitious message, and despite backlash, that outlook has remained. Former City Council Christine Quinn was overheard calling Nixon an “unqualified lesbian.” The media immediately claimed the term, running with it for better or worse. Nixon herself brushed it off. That night, she greeted all of her guests during her campaign launch at Stonewall Inn, including “qualified and unqualified lesbians.” She did not play a blame game or threateningly tweet back as we are all too familiar with seeing. It was refreshing.
Nevertheless, an important issue we must face is not just the name-calling, but that Nixon is bisexual, even though she was misidentified as a lesbian. While her apparent identity was used to either praise or disqualify her, it also proved how the erasure of different identities within the LGBT community still exists. However, I believe a bisexual woman’s success in a key race could shed significant light on this problem and bring about growing acceptance as a whole.
Additionally, Nixon, an ally of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, has openly been at odds with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. As a daily subway rider, she too understands the impact of delays, dilapidation and underfunding. Part of her campaign website is simply titled “#CuomosMTA,” outlining the problems riddling the current system. Although she has not proposed any plans on how to remedy the system, Nixon prioritizing the need for better signals and brakes over LED displays and WiFi paints her as a well-acquainted candidate with meaningful priorities — much different than the incumbent.
A candidate who does not bicker with but respects the mayor of our state’s largest city is who we deserve. We need a true progressive like Nixon who will work with local leaders to fix our schools and infrastructure, narrow the gap between rich and poor and advance human rights. Others take dangerous centrist stances, don’t listen to constituents, act as a bully and allow corporate greed.
I think some will be shocked if Nixon succeeds in the polls, bringing about positive change and showing true skill. I, for one, am excited for that day. We need more well-rounded candidates and women in office. I have so many reasons to support her, but if nothing else, in a world that says we all have a little bit of Carrie Bradshaw inside us, I’ve always felt more like Miranda, and I’ll always be by her side.
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Email Charlie Kolczynski at [email protected].