Newark mayor Cory Booker announced in December that he would consider a Senate bid in 2014.
Even for a man who has carefully crafted his public image as much as Booker, the public and media can uncover virtually anything from a politician’s past.
Mayor Booker attended Stanford in his undergraduate college days, was a star on the football team and a columnist for the school newspaper, The Stanford Daily.
In 1990 Booker wrote an op-ed for the publication titled, “Pointing the finger at gays” where he talked about his past hatred of the LGBT community and how he learned to overcome it.
“I was in my tolerance stage or the ‘I don’t give a damn if someone is gay, just as long as they don’t bother me’ stage. I was well trained in my tolerance,” Booker began his piece. “I stopped telling gay jokes. F*gs, flamers, and d*kes became homosexuals and people of differing sexual orientation and, of course, I had a gay friend.”
Booker also wrote about how he tried to hide his feelings a lot of the time, but when around gays could not help himself.
“While hate is a four-letter word I never would have admitted to, the sentiment clandestinely pervaded my every interaction with homosexuals,” he wrote. “I sheepishly shook hands with gays or completely shielded away from physical contact. I still remember how my brow would often unconsciously furrow when I was with gays, as thoughts would flash in my mind, ‘What sinners I am amongst’ or ‘How unnatural these people are.’”
By the end of his piece, Booker softened both his tone and view on LGBT people.
“I will never point a finger when the finger is best pointed at me. Also, occasionally I still find myself acting defensively if someone thinks I am gay or sometimes I remain silent when others slam or slander. These realizations hurt me deeply. I must continue to struggle for personal justice. This is my most important endeavor.”
Read the full op-ed “Pointing the finger at gays” here.
Follow Marquise Francis on Twitter @mKfly