In her run for governor of New York, Cynthia Nixon may not have the support of a certain former city council member (aka Christine Quinn), but she’s got the support of one of the most popular women in the country. Ellen DeGeneres tweeted the Sex and the City star to wish her happy birthday and gave her a vote of confidence.
“I’ll never forget when you played Mystery Word on my show. Happy birthday, from one unqualified lesbian to another,” she said.
DeGeneres’ tweet was a crack at a comment Nixon received the week after she announced she would run against Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the race for New York governor. Christine Quinn, openly gay and a former New York City Council speaker, slammed Nixon to the New York Post, saying, “Cynthia Nixon was opposed to having a qualified lesbian become mayor of New York City. Now she wants an unqualified lesbian to be the governor of New York. You have to be qualified and have experience. She isn’t qualified to be the governor.”
Nixon’s campaign has taken on the remark as a slogan and has begun selling hilariously awesome stuff like buttons and T-shirts reading, “Unqualified lesbian.” This is undoubtedly one of those shirts that will require an explanation when your kids find it in your drawer in 20 years, but that’s cool.
Cynthia was called an “unqualified lesbian.” In her defense there’s a lot of paperwork required. Grab your button to support our campaign today.https://t.co/WPUKXqZpl3
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) March 27, 2018
Nixon thanked DeGeneres for her support today and noted that her very lifestyle has been an exercise in qualification. “Lesbi-honest, if we waited for the world to qualify us, we never would have made much progress.”
As one might expect, the exchange between the two celebrities is receiving mixed reactions on Twitter.
“I have followed her politics for a long time! She’s going to be great!” wrote one supporter, referring to Nixon’s progressive activism. She has campaigned for issues surrounding education, LGBTQ rights, breast cancer awareness and women’s health care according to Time. But most people only became aware of her activism when she entered the fight in New York to legalize same-sex marriage in 2011.
Another Twitter user admitted she isn’t familiar with Nixon from her TV roles, but from her political work. “TBH I’ve never seen SATC. But I’m a big fan of your activism and your courage in taking on Cuomo. You go girl!”
As can be expected though, there are also detractors chiming in on the exchange between Nixon and DeGeneres. “I do request you not stay in the race simply to weaken the Democratic Party since getting rid of Trump is more important than your personal ambitions,” wrote one commenter.
Another pointed out her connection to Mayor Bill de Blasio, whom Nixon supported in the past. “Her politics … match those of the mayoral candidate she supported, Bill de Blasio, who is corrupt and incompetent.”
This campaign is just getting started, so we’re going to see a lot more back and forth on social media in the months leading up to the November election. But starting out with a vote of confidence from DeGeneres and a memorable new slogan sure seems like it will make things easier for Nixon. For now, happy birthday, Cynthia Nixon!