Michaela Kennedy-Cuomo, daughter of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has a public message to share this Pride Month: She’s queer.
Kennedy-Cuomo, 23, shared her announcement on Instagram Thursday, along with two photos of herself (one with a pride flag), plus a long statement supporting LGBTQ causes.
When reached for comment, the New York governor told NBC News via email, “I love, support and couldn’t have more pride in Michaela.”
Next to her Instagram name, she added, “is #queer,” then shared a heartfelt post (sprinkled with emojis) about why it’s critical for cisgender, heterosexual people to be supportive as people find a way to voice their identities.
“To those who are contending with the compulsive heterosexuality our society force feeds us and innate attraction beyond cis het folks, please know that you are not alone,” she wrote. “To those who have yet to claim their sexual identity due to fear of physical, psychological, or financial safety, please know that you are unconditionally worthy of love and support.”
To those who are questioning their sexuality but aren’t ready to come out, she said, “know that we all reserve the right to change our minds or evolve at anytime. There is nothing wrong with you for not fitting into a limiting, socially constructed box. You will be loved and embraced by those who’s hearts are inclusive enough to earn your expansive energy.”
Kennedy-Cuomo has publicly shared her support for LGBTQ causes and celebrations before: Last September she celebrated Bisexual Visibility Day with a tweet, and last July she joked about being #KennedyCuomoSexual on Twitter.
In her new Instagram post, however, she was more direct and also addressed heterosexual allies: “Please be mindful that we don’t know who around us is questioning or struggling to embrace their sexual identity,” then added that, “Being pro gay marriage is not enough to assure queer folks that we will not be ostracized for our sexuality. Support your friends by speaking up against homophobia and by actively reaching out to the members of your community who’s sexual expression may be isolating.
She wrapped up her post with a virtual fist in the air: “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 the youngest of three daughters of Cuomo and Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy. Cuomo and Kennedy divorced in 2005.
This story was originally published on TODAY.com.