Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s youngest daughter, Michaela Kennedy Cuomo, identified herself as queer in a social media post.
“Today, I stand in my queer identity with pride, and in memory of those who came before me,” Michaela posted on her Instagram account Thursday night.
“I stand indebted to the activists who fought for my right to love and happiness. I stand with a helping hand outreached to those finding their way from under socially constructed boxes to emerge from the closet. I’m standing with you,” she added using three heart emojis.
The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group, defines queer as a “term people often use to express a spectrum of identities and orientations that are counter to the mainstream.”
“Queer is often used as a catch-all to include many people, including those who do not identify as exclusively straight and/or folks who have non-binary or gender-expansive identities. This term was previously used as a slur, but has been reclaimed by many parts of the LGBTQ movement.”
Michaela, also the daughter of Kerry Kennedy, said in her post, “Those who are contending with the compulsive heterosexuality our society force feeds us and innate attraction beyond cis het folks, please know that you are not alone,” Cuomo’s daughter said.
“Those who have yet to claim their sexual identity due to fear of physical, psychological, or financial safety, please know that you are unconditionally worthy of love and support. To the questioning folks, know that we all reserve the right to change our minds or evolve at anytime. There is nothing wrong with you for not fitting into a limiting, socially constructed box,” she added.
“You will be loved and embraced by those whose hearts are inclusive enough to earn your expansive energy.”
Gov. Cuomo, Michaela’s dad, responded in a statement, “I love, support and couldn’t have more pride in Michaela.”
Cuomo has championed gay rights during his tenure, including approving a law legalizing same-sex marriage in 2011.
LGBTQ activists lauded Michaela Kennedy Cuomo’s statement.
Allen Roskoff, head of the Jim Owles LGBTQ Democratic Club, said, “I welcome Michaela to the LGBT family.”
“Michaela made a beautiful statement. Hopefully this will lead to many years of activism from Michaela as we move forward.”
Michaela issued the statement during LGBT Pride Month.