Best known for playing Miranda Hobbes on the beloved HBO series Sex and the City, Nixon’s other role as a longtime local activist may surprise some of her fans. For more than 17 years, Nixon has been a political player here in New York, working on behalf of LGBTQ and education causes. Contrary to former City Council speaker Christine Quinn’s comment that Nixon is an “unqualified lesbian,” Nixon is no stranger to Albany’s Capitol: she has advocated for equitable funding for school districts before the same politicians she may soon be calling her peers. As for Quinn’s remark, Nixon responded at a recent event held at New York’s historic Stonewall Inn, stating: “I don’t have my certificate from the Department of Lesbian Affairs, but in my defense, there is a lot of paperwork involved.”
Nixon’s sense of humor is one illustration of her campaign’s contemporary feel. When her train went out of service while she was on her way to speak about Cuomo’s mishandling of the city’s subway crisis, Nixon did what any New Yorker would do and took to Twitter. Here, she interacts with fellow politicians and civilians alike, referencing relevant issues such as sexual harassment in the workplace and phenomena like mansplaining. Nixon is just as committed to modernity offline, even announcing her candidacy in the Cuomo-neglected neighborhood of Brownsville in East Brooklyn. Furthermore, among her campaign’s chief concerns are protecting undocumented people, increasing the availability of affordable housing, and providing fair school funding.
With a record number of women running for office, the outlook for Nixon’s success is positive. Endorsements from everyone from civil rights leader Shaun King to her Sex and the City co-stars Sarah Jessica Parker and David Eigenberg could help Nixon become the first openly gay governor in New York history. Considering how rapidly the state and country are changing and the fact that Cuomo was elected back in 2011, many New Yorkers would welcome a first right about now. You’ll recognize these locals when you meet them—they’ll be sporting this pin.