Newark Mayor Cory Booker has apparently come a long way in his acceptance of the gay community. Back in 1992, Booker wrote an opinion piece published by The Stanford Daily, and was open and honest about his feelings.
Written when he was pursuing a master's degree at Stanford University, and republished this week, the column finds the now 43-year-old detailing his “disgust” for gays.
“While I was highly adroit at maintain an air of acceptance, I couldn't betray my feelings. I was disgusted by gays. The thought of two men kissing each other was about as appealing as a frontal lobotomy,” he wrote. “Allow me to be more direct, escaping the euphemisms of my past—I hated gays—The disgust and latent hostility I felt towards gays were subcategories of hatred, plain and simple.”
Yet it was the presence of a guidance counselor that helped to change his views. “It takes too much energy to hate,” Booker continued. “Daniel Bao showed me that. He was our gay counselor at The Bridge when I was a freshman. A beautiful man whose eloquent and poignant truths began to move me past tolerance. I still remember our first real conversation about homos-xuality. I had no intention of listening to him; I only sought to argue and debate. Daniel, however quickly disarmed me with his personal testimony.”
More than two decades later, Booker—who filed paperwork to run for state Senate in 2014—has had a complete change of heart. “I was writing about my teenage struggle for integrity,” he explained to one of his Twitter followers who called him “super awesome” for the old column.
Booker has since come out in support of gay marriage, and praised President Obama for his stance on the issue.