Steve Ralls

She's Still My Girl

Filed By Steve Ralls | June 12, 2008 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Democrat primaries, Democrats, Hillary Rodham Clinton

It wasn't the party I had planned, either, but I sure loved the company along the way.

hillary-clinton.jpgIt's been almost a week since Senator Hillary Clinton addressed her supporters at the National Building Museum here in Washington. And while I was not able to join her in person, I was there with her in spirit, cheering her on and saluting her for an awe-inspiring, history-making campaign. Watching the speech unfold in a hotel room in Orlando, I was struck by the fact that, a hundred years from now, this moment would be written about in history books and celebrated as a breakthrough moment for our country.

Senator Clinton's campaign for the White House moved and uplifted me more than any other in my lifetime. As a gay man, I have been enormously grateful for Hillary's staunch support for our community. As the son of a strong-willed mother, I have been so appreciative for her determination, grit and perseverance. And as an American, Hillary has made me so proud, so many times, that, at the end of this road on Saturday, I found myself in tears.

Much will be written and debated about Senator Clinton's quest for the Oval Office, but mere words will almost always fail to capture what the scrappy girl from Scranton - who is known just as 'Hillary' to those of us who love her - meant to so many. In a season filled with the mantra of hope, she owned that mantle for millions.

I heard the stories of elderly voters who climbed stairs in Florida - no easy feat for most of them - to proudly cast a vote for the Senator from New York who, quite appropriately, Cyndi Lauper recently compared to Eleanor Roosevelt in her own blog entry. And I saw the beam of pride that came across my mother's face every time Hillary dared to take on - and again and again beat - the "big boys" who thought they owned the game. Every time I talked to my mom, she'd always ask, "Has Hillary wrapped this thing up yet?" And I was looking forward to the day when I could simply say "yes."

Some have posited that Clinton's candidacy appealed to many LGBT voters because she is a strong woman who has overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. And there's something to that, too. Every time someone told Hillary she shouldn't be in the game, she suited up, went on the field, and scored a touchdown for us all. When men heckled her to "iron my shirt," her energy got sizzling hot, and she showed them which house this woman was made for (a white one, but without the picket fence). And every time someone said, "You can't go there," she stood tall, walked right through the door and said, "Yes, I can."

Indeed, Hillary Clinton opened countless doors for us all. And she wasn't just "likeable enough." She was pure radiance, and we are all the better for having basked in the warmth of her glow.

In her 1993 inaugural poem for President Bill Clinton, Dr. Maya Angelou reminded us all that, no matter where we find ourselves at any given moment, "The horizon leans forward, offering you the space to place new steps of change."

Hillary Rodham Clinton has already walked the path of history and changed the landscape for us all. And there will be new, history-making horizons dawning before her soon. When that happens, I'll gladly go wherever she leads.

Hillary is still my heroine. She's still my girl.

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She has blazed one helluva trail for other women to follow. I doubt this is as high as her star rises...

And she's still a sitting US Senator, an amazing platform for her policy.

My problems with Hillary are the same as they've always been: She avoids us and our issues whenever possible, dodges the important questions when she can't avoid us, and fills her campaign staff with the political enemies of fully inclusive civil rights like Barney Frank and the HRC Executive Board. Even if I were willing to look past her refusal to discuss LGB and especially T issues openly and honestly, as long as a vote for Hillary equals a vote for the agenda of Barney Frank and HRC, my answer will always be "No.".

Certainly a friend in the Senate, but only so long as she's working under a truly progressive leadership. She's proven we can't trust her to fight for us unless there's some sort of political gain in it for her and the Democrats.

We can do better...we ARE doing better. Obama will be the kind of President we can trust to put principle over politics. I don't think the same could have been said of Hillary Clinton.