Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker once saved a woman from a burning building, once lived on Food Stamps, and once was a raging homophobe.
See, every Wednesday, The Stanford Daily publishes an opinion piece from its archives. This week, the editors picked an article first printed in April 1992, in which the then-23-year-old Cory Booker wrote quite candidly about his feelings toward homosexuals.
Allow me to be more direct, escaping the euphemisms of my past – I hated gays. The disgust and latent hostility I felt toward gays were subcategories of hatred, plain and simple.
Booker has since Tweeted that at the time, he was writing about his "teenage struggle for integrity."
A peer counselor named Daniel Bao initiated an epiphany for Booker. As Bao told Booker the kinds of terrible treatment gays endure, Booker realized his intolerance and homophobia was hypocritical and unjust.
And he told me of the violence – violence from strangers and family, horrible images of beatings, destruction of property and the daily verbal condemnations.
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. People found it revolting to share a meal with them and often felt it to be their duty to beat them so that they would learn proper living.
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.
Of course, some believe Cory Booker's homophobia is a sign that Cory Booker is gay. In May 2012, gossip site Sandra Rose interpreted the fact that Booker isn't dating a woman to mean he is waiting for that special man. And today, Sandra Rose published these sentences:
But if Mr. Booker is not gay, what is he? How could Booker be a straight man with no apparent history of dating women? Maybe he hates women just as passionately as he once hated the gays?
Along the same lines, a comment on Gothamist reads:
He should also disclose that he's gay, ya know. It's kinda obvious.
Booker, who has argued passionately for marriage equality and loves pedicures, is the subject of idle gossip on gay message board Data Lounge, with one poster claiming that he and Gayle King weren't so much dating as they were trying to find boyfriends for each other. Another commenter believes that the reason Booker "dreams" of a day when there is marriage equality is because then he can get married. And one writes:
He's gay. A friend of mine worked closely with him on his mayoral campaign, and he's definitely a friend of Dorothy.
That said, church-goer Booker — who has recently set up a campaign committee to run for the Senate — seems pretty open and honest about his life; even with the pressure from Christians and the black community, groups not always accepting of open homosexuality — if he were gay, wouldn't he just say so?