Chirlane McCray with her husband, New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

If her husband, Bill de Blasio, is elected mayor of New York City, Chirlane McCray would be the first African American to be New York City's first lady since Joyce Dinkins, wife of former Mayor David Dinkins. The Dinkins era was short-lived (he was a one-term mayor), though, and comparisons are more often made between McCray and the country's first African-American first lady, Michelle Obama.

But in a New York Times profile of McCray, the 58-year-old poet says that she would like it if she and her husband were compared to a different first family: the Clintons. 

In an interview, Ms. McCray embraced the model of the Clintons' working partnership, saying that the former secretary of state is the first lady she most admires. She acknowledges feeling so passionately in 2002 about which way her husband would vote on the next City Council speaker she threatened to divorce him if he backed the wrong candidate.

He sided with his wife.

Like the first lady-turned-senator for New York-turned-secretary of state, McCray attended Wellesley College. It was there that McCray came out as a lesbian, which she would publicly declare in an Essence magazine essay in 1979. Her future husband knew this when they met while working for Dinkins, but de Blasio remained undeterred, eventually winning over not only her but her parents as well. They called him "Brother Bill," the story notes. And if all goes according to plan, people will be calling him Mayor de Blasio, and Chirlane McCray first lady.


Read more at the New York Times.

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 and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter.

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