In 1992, Booker wrote that he was “disgusted by gays” until a Stanford therapist shared his life story and the stories of the physical attacks and verbal condemnations of others like him.
It was chilling to find that so much of the testimony he shared with me was almost identical to stories my grandparents told me about growing up Black.
And here’s the part that made everyone wonder if Cory Booker is gay himself…
Well, it didn’t take me long to realize that the root of my hatred did not lie with gays but with myself. It was my problem. A problem I dealt with by ceasing to tolerate gays and instead seeking to embrace them.
A few headlines (“Newark Mayor Cory Booker sort of comes out of the closet“) and comments (“It’s kinda obvious”) did more than suggest this. And here’s his 90’s self responding…
But again, I will never point a finger when the finger is best pointed at me. Alas, occasionally I still find myself acting defensive if someone thinks I am gay or sometimes I remain silent when others slam and slander. These realizations hurt me deeply. I must continue to struggle for personal justice. This is my most important endeavor.
In these efforts I have found another community with which I feel akin and from which I draw strength. The gay people with whom I am close are some of the strongest, most passionate and caring people I know and their demands for justice are no less imperative than those of any other community.
I love Cory Booker now. Love love love love love. Gay or straight. Human or human.