As he prepares to run for the U.S. Senate, Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker is having to answer questions about his sexuality, and according to Gawker, he isn't doing a very good job.
Presumably because he has mostly remained unattached throughout his time as mayor, with no publicly known wife prospects, whispers of Booker's sexuality have been swirling around him for years now. But with the high profile that would come with being a senator, the whispers may become yells for answers — and Gawker seems determined to start the rallying cry.
Newark Mayor and U.S. Senate hopeful Cory Booker is once again parrying questions about whether he likes dudes. Is he gay? Bisexual? Completely straight? (Asexual?) The only person who knows for sure — Booker himself — refused to specify twice yesterday, first in a Washington Post profile and, in a follow-up interview, to the New Jersey Star-Ledger.
And if it isn't the media pining for an answer, it's his fellow political compatriots and foes.
Still, Booker's default supporters in the Democratic establishment are not the only ones to notice their candidate's unwillingness to discuss his own sexuality, which Booker himself considers to be a pedestrian facet of existence. (It's a little difficult to play up the normalcy of gayness in the abstract when you refuse to discuss it in the specific.) Indeed, for the past year or so, his sexuality, and sex life, have become topics of immense attention among GOP opposition researchers — the hired guns who dig up dirt on the opposing party's ticket. Given his growing profile in Democratic politics, Booker makes for an especially juicy target.
A source familiar with a team of New Jersey opposition researchers working with state Republicans recently told Gawker that the team appointed a member to research the relationship between Booker and a particular male confidante (who the source wouldn't name).
While Booker has remained mum on the issue, it seems to be for strategic reasons as much as personal ones. Booker not answering the question allows him to run for Senate without the added weight of being an advocate for a segment of the population. By flipping the question onto those who ask about his sexuality, one can presume, he's also trying to gauge the general public's attitude about a black gay man running for national office. Hopefully, the way we all find out the truth is on Booker's terms and not others.
Read more at Gawker.
Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He also hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called Empire Afterparty, is a contributor at VerySmartBrothas.com and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter.