32° Good Evening
32° Good Evening

Gay couple, family from Queens head to inauguration

Michael Kandel of Douglaston, Queens, decided in October to attend Barack Obama's inauguration, he said, when his partner's 82-year-old mother decided to vote for the Illinois senator.

"And she only did it because our 8-year-old said, 'But Grandma, McCain doesn't recognize our family.' "

Kandel, 49, a gay sixth-grade English and history teacher at Mineola Middle School, has attended large gay-rights and AIDS-awareness rallies in the capital and wanted his family to share in such a large political event.

"I know the feelings conjured up by being in D.C.," he said. "There's a powerful sense of community when attending a political event. This is one that my partner and I knew we didn't want to miss."

Kandel, his partner Darryl Wong, and their daughter, Chloe, and Kandel's 26-year-old niece are hoping to score last-minute tickets from Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Roslyn Estates). But they're going with or without tickets and are more than happy to watch the proceedings among the millions of others expected on the National Mall.

"As a public school teacher, and one that feels it's essential to push for social justice, it's like a culminating activity going to the inauguration," Kandel said. "It wouldn't feel that way watching it on TV."


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

News Photos and Videos