Michaela Kennedy-Cuomo, the youngest daughter of New York governor Andrew Cuomo, came out as queer in an Instagram post for Pride Month, and offers support for the LGBTQ+ community.
“#HappyPrideMonth to the whole spectrum of sexualities!” Kennedy-Cuomo writes in the post. She then writes to those who are still questioning their identities, or who are uncertain how they identify, telling them that “you are unconditionally worthy of love and support” and that “There is nothing wrong with you for not fitting into a limiting, socially constructed box.”
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She goes on in the post to offer advice to allies, telling them that it is not enough to support gay marriage, but that they must “Support [their] friends by speaking up against homophobia and by actively reaching out to the members of your community whose sexual expression may be isolating.”
Kennedy-Cuomo also uses the post as a chance to criticize Instagram for censoring words such as #lesbian and #bi, a policy which “[condemns] sexual identities to vulgar fetishes and porn niches.” Were it not for the censoring of #bi, she writes, “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.”
She ends the post with a broader message to the LGBTQ+ community, writing, “I stand in my queer identity with pride, and in memory of those who came before me. 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.”
Kennedy-Cuomo is a recent graduate of Brown University, where she had worked as a Sexual Assault Peer Educator and founded the group Cultivating Upstanders for Sexual Assault Preventions (CUSP), which works to prevent sexual violence on campus.