New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Kerry Kennedy's youngest daughter Michaela Kennedy-Cuomo has identified herself as a queer and shown her support for the LGBTQ community via a post on social media. Michaela, 23, who is celebrating Pride Month, came up with a with a message for everyone on "the whole spectrum of sexualities" as she opened up about her bisexuality on social media on Thursday.
On Thursday night, Michaela took to Instagram to posted two smiling photos of herself wearing a baseball cap that reads "gay for you." Cuomo too has reportedly come out in support of his daughter and said that he is proud of her.
Michaela Kennedy-Cuomo Opens Up
Alongside the two photos on Instagram, Michaela wrote, ""To those who are contending with the compulsive heterosexuality our society force feeds us and innate attraction beyond cis [heterosexual] folks, please know that you are not alone."
Showing her support she next opened up about being a queer herself. "Today, I stand in my queer identity with pride, and in memory of those who came before me," she posted on her Instagram account.
"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."
Showing her Support
However, more than declaring herself a queer, Michaela's posts were about supporting the members of the LGBTQ community. She also challenged the critics of the queer community and said that determining one's gender and orientation is an individual choice.
"To the questioning folks, know that we all reserve the right to change our minds or evolve at anytime," she wrote, adding, "There is nothing wrong with you for not fitting into a limiting, socially constructed box." She also encouraged LGBTQ allies to be vocal in their support "by speaking up against homophobia and by actively reaching out to the members of your community who's sexual expression may be isolating."
While doing all these, Michaela also chastised social media platforms like Instagram that she said had been censoring certain hashtags like #bi and #lesbian. "When you strip my ability to find queer content and community, you damn sexual minorities to exist on the internet only as fringe groups to objectify," she wrote. "If #bi weren't censored, maybe I could have accessed the information and tools that as a bisexual person I would need to protect myself from increased rates of sexual victimization, homelessness, hunger, unemployment, hate crimes, and mental health challenges.
Cuomo, the embattled governor of New York, too has come out in support of Michaela. "I love, support and couldn't have more pride in Michaela," he said in a statement.
Cuomo himself has championed gay rights during his tenure, including approving a law legalizing same-sex marriage in 2011. LGBTQ activists also lauded Michaela'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."