ny post chirlane mccray cover
This kind of bullshit makes my blood boil: the New York Post‘s cover today shows a picture of New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray with the headline, “I WAS A BAD MOM.” It references an article that just came out in New York magazine about McCray’s life in which she writes about her difficulties balancing work and motherhood.

But did McCray actually ever call herself a “bad mom”? Of course not.

McCray was an out lesbian and radical feminist activist who belonged to the Combahee River Collective, a black feminist lesbian organization. She also published an article in a 1979 issue of Essence called “I Am A Lesbian.” Over time, however, how she defined her sexual orientation changed and in 1994, she married fellow progressive Bill de Blasio, who is now NYC’s mayor.

In the New York magazine piece, she described how difficult it was for her to acclimate to a more conventional way of life after having children.  She said:

“I was 40 years old. I had a life. Especially with [daughter] Chiara — will we feel guilt forevermore? Of course, yes. But the truth is, I could not spend every day with her. I didn’t want to do that. I looked for all kinds of reasons not to do it. … I’ve been working since I was 14, and that part of me is me. It took a long time for me to get into ‘I’m taking care of kids,’ and what that means.”

Fathers, of course, say and think these kinds of things about parenthood, too, but they don’t end up on the front page of the Post over it. Chirlane McCray’s only fault here is honesty: she said something women aren’t supposed to say. She said something mothers aren’t supposed to say. Moms are supposed to be endlessly selfless, sacrificial and long-suffering. Moms aren’t supposed to want to be away from their babies. Instead, women like Chirlane McCray end up at the center of the mommy wars, just for speaking openly and honestly.

In reality, it seems that McCray actually sacrificed quite a lot for her whole family while her husband was climbing up the ranks of NYC politics. She said that she became the “default parent” when their son Dante was born three years after Chiara and her husband was working for the Clinton administration. (She eventually went back to work in 2002, when Dante was in elementary school.)

She also cared for both her and her husband’s aging mothers, who lived in a house down the street from them in Brooklyn. As New York explains:

 In 2005, Bill and Chirlane decided to move their mothers, both in failing health, into a house that de Blasio’s mother, Maria Wilhelm, owned down the street. Katharine McCray, who had multiple myeloma, occupied the top floor, and Wilhelm, who suffered from heart ailments, lived below. It fell largely to Chirlane to coordinate “the grandmas’ ” care, keeping track of the coming and going of home health aides, driving them to doctors’ appointments, rushing to the emergency room as needed. It was, she remembers, one of the most difficult periods of her life.

Of course, a lot of people don’t see caretaking as “work.” It’s just what women do. It’s just what women have always done. And McCray admitting that she didn’t grin and bear it through every second of it apparently makes her a “bad mom.”

The Post shouldn’t be trashing Chirlane McCray on their front page. They should be giving her a pat on the back.

[New York Magazine]
[New York Post]

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The Frisky

This post originally appeared on The Frisky. Republished with permission.

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  • Ask_Me

    Why do people keep referring to this woman as a lesbian or former lesbian?

    As far as I can tell she was CONFUSED as hell or bisexual. People who are truly homosexual don’t just turn their sexuality on/off when it suites them. People who are truly heterosexual don’t just turn their sexuality on/off when it suites them.

    And before someone comes at me with, “sexuality is fluid”…it’s only fluid to confused and bisexual folks. Most of us are not sitting around thinking about getting it in with members of the same sex. I can’t even look at a woman and get aroused.

    • Petty Levert


    • Secret87

      I don’t think she was confused. I lost the link,but as a dark skinned woman she was hurt and spoke of how the men of our race see light skin women as a poetry in motion. I read it and I teared up. I have heard of black women becoming lesbians because the men don’t value them and they may just get fed up. As soon as he comes into her life somehow she is straight, loves men again because he loves her and sees her beauty. I had a co-worker same thing and hinted she may go gay. When you desire love some will say anything or may try new things for it. People on here may never get to that point, but its real for some. Lesbians and bisexuals are real. I feel that for her based on her past writings and the fear she had that he would leave her for a light skinned woman (she admits laughing about it these days). She was fully straight woman who wanted love.

    • Brad

      So she said she wanted to have a sexual relationship with other woman for fear of black men rejecting her because she is dark?

      That just seems like a stretch to me, a bridge a bit too far. I think that the most probable reason was that she was attracted to other woman.

      As far as you mentioning “I had a co-worker same thing and hinted she may go gay.” I think it is possible that you had a coworker who was attracted to you and she was working up a way to make a play at you.

    • Secret87

      Brad your comment made me laugh. My co-worker had zero interest in me. I was there. A dark skinned guy she been crushing on for months wasn’t interested in her dark skinned, long haired self. He seem to light up when the latino girl passed by which broke her heart and thats when she said that to me.

      This is very real and I met some women who have confess this. They start out straight, some even have kids, get tired of the treatment and doing it all alone and meets a understanding woman who takes her in. It seems sometimes common.

    • Brad

      I hear that and if she had been making a pass at you certainly no judgments from me.

    • Secret87

      No just the idea was funny. Now I had a childhood friend when I was 15 she kept wanting sleep overs. She loved men and was a early bird in the bed room, but wanted sleep overs real bad. I later found out she wanted me. That was shocking and I did have a dream she did, but blamed it on the soda.

    • Brad

      Ha ha ha blame it on the Soda huh, too funny…

    • Sad

      “as a dark skinned woman she was hurt and spoke of how the men of our race see light skin women as a poetry in motion.”

      Really? Lol. I guess dark skinned folks just can’t be straight busted anymore. This woman has gorgeous skin. On a nicer looking person. The way she’s mouthing off, you’d think she was Gabrielle Union. No ma’am. She’s like a clock one d!ck removed from Flavor Flav.

    • lolomoss

      Just to clarify your feelings, sexuality IS fluid, just because you dont experience it does not mean it doesn’t exist. Confusion is higher level college math not whether or not you want to be intimate with someone. People claim confusion because its easier than owning up to what is not the norm to society.Dont force your concepts onto others. No one is calling you a lesbian so let her call herself one(or former).

    • Ask_Me

      Sexuality is NOT fluid for the vast MAJORITY of the worlds population. This concept is being put forth by the confused, bisexual and the delusional to justify their thirst for BOTH genders.

      Furthermore if I were a homosexual or a lesbian I would be insulted by this woman and your idea that she can call herself a lesbian. No the hell she cannot. She is NOT a lesbian. She is a BISEXUAL.

      Also, MOST REAL homosexuals don’t consider their sexuality fluid….neither do we heterosexuals.

    • lolomoss

      Since capitalization makes opinons more vaild….. sexuality IS fluid for SOME of the population.
      Maybe this is a concept that is accurate and valid. Saying it is fluid is not nearly as insulting as calling those who are comfortable with their sexuality “confused” or “thirsty”. That is very insulting. But you already knew that.

      And I’m sorry what’s a “real” homosexual?

      I think you’re taking this a little personal.
      Hey if Ms. DiBlasio wants to call herself former lesbian or a straight woman, why do you care so much? It has nothing to do with you.
      I didn’t realize you were the spokesperson for all “real” heterosexuals! Nice to meet you. -_-

    • Thomas Miller

      So, women can be exclusively attracted to men? I mean women to desire males and ONLY males sexually.

    • Thomas Miller

      Especially in sexual imagery such as erotic/romantic fantasies and dreams, in sexual attractions. All exclusively about men?

    • GreenEyedLilo

      As a bisexual woman, I would describe her history and perhaps her current orientation (she’s implied that she still looks at women) as bisexual. However, McCray herself uses “former lesbian”, so I respect that identity. I am careful to respect others’ self-defined identities because some people feel the need to slap labels like “CONFUSED” onto others or care an awful lot about what other people “truly” are.

    • Ask_Me

      Self-defined identities are just that….SELF….people don’t have to respect them especially if they are not truly applicable to the person.

      She can’t possibly be a FORMER lesbian because she was clearly NEVER a lesbian to begin with!

      This woman is and clearly always has been BIsexual.

  • Objection

    They should be giving her a pat on the back.

    Wait, I thought we weren’t giving people a pat on the back for doing things they should be doing?

    • vintage3000

      Anyone of any gender who can raise a young family while taking care of two elderly loved ones deserves a pat on the back. Period.

    • Anthony

      I think the attack on Ms. DiBlasio was mean and unfair, but Objection does have a point.

    • vintage3000

      I don’t know where Objection is coming from, but given the convos on this site it’s probably a perception of bias against men–that if we don’t give men a pat on the back for taking care of their obligations, why are we doing it for a woman.

      There is a very distinct difference between being a parent who brushes their kids hair, teaches them how to brush their teeth, ride a bike, etc. and raising kids while also being a caretaker for TWO elderly loved ones. Yes she has a husband and partner, that life still is no joke.

      And the other difference is, Mrs. DiBlasio does not appear to be tooting her own horn about her past responsibilities. Unlike certain parents who Instagram their mundane tasks with their children, go on talk shows, etc.

    • Anthony

      I know what you are saying, and I agree that DiBlasio clearly sacrificed a lot. I guess, I think those inclined to argue will say
      the line between meeting expectations and sacrifice is subjective. Sometimes arguments can turn back on you.

  • vintage3000

    The NYPost lives to offend people. I would not even give them the satisfaction of getting angry at one of their headlines.

  • BrowneWives

    Damn, she sounds like dudes nanny, maid, or wet nurse. She is a poor insecure soul. Poor thang.

  • GreenEyedLilo

    The New York Post can be counted on to sensationalize anything, especially if it involves a prominent Democrat. White Republicans have seen their teen and young adult children experience issues similar to Chiara de Blasio’s, but the Post ignores that as a matter of policy. I’m glad that Chirlane McCray answered honestly despite how some people (media and otherwise) react. I’m ashamed of the New York Post and proud that she’s my city’s First Lady.