Conversations With Slate

Why Do You Want to Know If Cory Booker Is Gay?

The Senate candidate on his past homophobia and why he doesn’t put rumors to rest.

As Cory Booker continues his long-anticipated march to the Senate, his opponent in the race waded into old rumors about the unmarried Newark, N.J., mayor’s sexuality and made national headlines in the process. Booker has been pointedly quiet on his personal life, leading Republican candidate Steve Lonegan to call the ambiguity “weird” and critics to suggest Booker is using the rumors to court the gay vote.

In a new interview with Slate’s Jacob Weisberg, Booker says his sexuality is no mystery to anyone around him—or even to anyone who follows him on Twitter. The real question, he says, is why people are asking in the first place.

Look for more installments of Weisberg’s wide-ranging interview with Booker in the next several days. In future segments, Booker delves into his triumphs (and disappointments) as he contemplates leaving Newark and how his self-perception as a uniter of people and parties might take a hit if he goes to Washington.