When New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced her participation in city's upcoming mayoral election, the future of the LGBT community in New York City finally started to look more optimistic after a series of anti-gay hate crimes stirred uneasiness within the community. On Sunday at the 21st annual Queens Pride Parade, Quinn announced her plan for series of free self-defense classes which will kick off during the second week of June. According to her, this is the best response that the LGBT community in New York City can have to the string of anti-gay assaults that happened in May.
“This is the kind of violence and frequency and in severity we haven’t seen in a really long time,” Quinn said according to CBS New York. “It isn’t safe to be gay everywhere in New York City.”
She reminds the participants at the parade that they are all more powerful than they think, and her words were proven by how the community reacted to the anti-gay hate crimes immediately after they happened. While Quinn publicly encourages LGBT individuals in New York City, as an openly gay politician, Quinn knows the pressure and fear of being LGBT well enough.
“I have to admit that, like so many LGBT people, in the back of my mind I still have a faint sense of unease, wondering what people will think of me when I walk into unfamiliar situations, fearing they will judge me because of who I am,” wrote Quinn in her memoir published by The New York Times.
In her memoir, Quinn writes about her life as an openly LGBT individual, and how she struggled during the coming out process. Quinn was married to her long-time partner, Kim Catullo, last year.
Her self-defense class, co-sponsored by the Center for Anti-Violence Prevention, will take place on June 8 at 4 p.m. The second one is happening on June 12 at 7 p.m. The classes are aiming to restore the sense of security within New York City’s LGBT community.
Given the possibility that she might become New York City’s first female and openly gay mayor, Quinn’s popularity and influence is soaring in the Democratic nomination battle. Her dual roles as an influential politician and popular gay-rights activist suggest that she has a very good chance to go one step further in this election.