‘Slap in the face.’ Advocates let down by mayor’s appointees with anti-LGBTQ pasts

Some LGBTQ advocates are frustrated with Mayor Eric Adams’ decision to appoint three men to his administration who have previously made statements against the community.
Elisa Crespo is a transgender advocate and the executive director of New Pride Agenda, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group. She joined other members of the community last week to protest Adams’ appointment of three men, including former Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera, due to their past homophobic comments.
"It really does feel like a slap in the face,” Crespo says. “There are so many qualified people in this city doing incredible work who have a more inclusive perspective on things. So, why Fernando Cabrera?"
News 12 reached out to Cabrera but did not hear back. He posted an apology for his previous statements last week on Facebook, saying "I strongly believe in the rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation."
Crespo says the apology is not enough.
“Only our community can accept that apology, the mayor can't accept that apology on our behalf,” she says.
Crespo adds that Adams’ decision to appoint these men have left members of the LGBTQ community disappointed. She says many of the same people who voted for him now feel let down.
"That's painful to me because these are young people, particularly queer people of color, who will bear the burden of these appointments,” she says.
Crespo is one of many advocates calling for these appointments to be rescinded.
"I also think that's going to be harder than we imagine. And so, I think the best way to move forward is for some accountability, for real attention on the part of this administration to meet with the leaders in our community, particularly the ones who are most impacted,” Crespo says.
Adams has stated publicly that he has stood with and will continue to stand with the LGBTQ community. He said in a statement last week that he remains committed to serving all New Yorkers equally and fairly.
The mayor's office told News 12 that Adams plans to meet with leaders of the LGBTQ community this week.