Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

Cynthia Nixon has responded to a politician who called her an “unqualified lesbian”.

The American actress, who identifies as bisexual, announced earlier this week that she would be running for Governor of New York as a Democrat, where she will compete against reigning Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has filled the position since 2011.

If elected, Nixon would make history by becoming the first woman and openly LGBTQ Governor of New York.

But it seems some took issue with her decision to run, as former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn branded her an “unqualified lesbian” in an interview with the New York Post, and questioned her credentials.

Quinn, who herself identifies as gay, later apologised for her comments on Twitter, writing: “To be clear, Cynthia Nixon’s identity has no bearing on her candidacy and it was not my intention to suggest it did.”

During an appearance at New York City’s iconic LGBTQ venue Stonewall Inn, Nixon addressed Quinn’s comments.

“Good evening sisters, brothers, and those who reject the gender binary,” she began her speech.

“Welcome unqualified lesbians, and the qualified ones too. Welcome to the trans community. Welcome to queer people of every strife, and our beautiful straight allies.

“Thank you for coming here tonight, for braving the snow, for braving Governor Cuomo’s [subway].”

She continued: “Now yesterday, when I announced my candidacy, one of Governor Cuomo’s top surrogates dismissed me as an ‘unqualified lesbian’.

“And I just want to say tonight that she was technically right. I don’t have my certificate from the Department of Lesbian Affairs. But in my defence, there is a lot of paperwork involved.

“I’m running for governor because I love this state, I was born here, I was raised here, I’m raising my kids here, it’s the place I made my career, it’s the place where I met and married the love of my life, my wife Christine.”

Nixon is best known for her work in the entertainment industry – for which she has won a Grammy, two Tonys and two Emmys – and for her role as Miranda Hobbes in the iconic HBO series, Sex and the City.

The series also spawned two highly-successful motion pictures of the same name, earning a combined total of nearly 700 million at the worldwide box office.

The election is set to take place in November.