Cory Booker, the Newark mayor whose election to the U.S. Senate seems a mere formality at this point, knows you are wondering if he is gay. And he’s okay if you think he is. In an interview with the Washington Post, the New Jersey Democrat acknowledges to his “great dismay” that he hasn’t had much of a personal life. “I have not settled down with a life partner,” Booker says, which is an interesting choice of words, considering that “wife” is also available.
At some point, overwhelmed by the murder toll in Newark, Booker says that he turned to a pastor friend for advice. “You need to get married,” the pastor said.
However, Booker says he knows that the media glare would be hard for anyone he dates. “Because how unfair is it to a young lady to put them in the spotlight if they haven’t signed up for that yet?” he says.
That has led inevitably to speculation about Booker’s orientation, which Booker freely embraces. “And people who think I’m gay, some part of me thinks it’s wonderful. Because I want to challenge people on their homophobia. I love seeing on Twitter when someone says I’m gay, and I say, ‘So what does it matter if I am? So be it. I hope you are not voting for me because you are making the presumption that I’m straight.’?”
Interestingly, earlier this year when a college newspaper column that Booker wrote in 1992 about coming to terms with gay rights surfaced, his own spokesperson refused to comment to Gawker on the question of whether Booker was gay. Consensus in that office was that he is not.