Kate Clinton

Be There

Filed By Kate Clinton | November 19, 2008 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Amendment 2, Barack Obama, gay marriage, inauguration, marriage equality, Obama Inauguration, Prop 102, Prop 8

It is two weeks since the election of Barack Obama. It is still true. It makes me smile every morning. Then I read the paper about the Armageddon that is our financial system and it harshes my mellow. But after CA, AZ, FL Prop Hates, it has been a shallow mellow.

Nothing like a little road trip to get the spirits up. The night before I left, I joined 16,000 of my closest, maddest friends at a protest at the Mormon Church near Lincoln Center in Manhattan. The Morons had spent 25 million in support of Prop Hate. Teamed with the Catholic Church, they are like the Hate Fed, bailing out immoral ballot initiatives. My sign said, "Tax This Church." Another witty sign said, "Et tu Donnie and Marie?" My favorite was, "Joseph Smith had 20 wives and I can't have one." It felt good to scream. I saw old friends, but the crowd was mostly young. And they were ripping mad.

I flew on a tiny plane in our unregulated airline industry, to Pittsburgh, the football craziest town I've ever been in, and did a show at the University sponsored by the Rainbow Alliance. The students were still high from election night. They told stories of the spontaneous partying in the streets on election night and they too were ripping mad about the anti-gay wins.

The next night I performed in Alexandria, in the newly blue state of Virginia. The Group of 20 was in DC and traffic was at a standstill for people trying to get to the show. The summit had been hastily assembled by our Lame Fuck who welcomed the participating countries with a feeble speech about free trade. The principles of our economy are sound. Could he leave now? I had hoped that Carla Bruni, the breathy gorgeous new wife of France's President Sarkozy would steal away and come to the show. Mais non.

Tant pis. The Birchmere is a big sprawling roadhouse of a club and it was wild. For the last eight years DC residents have been under house arrest. That night they were free and raucous and ready to party. The show was a pure joy. They are past ready for a new administration and are planning to party with millions on Inauguration Day.

They too experienced the kick in the gut that was Prop Hate, but seemed cautiously optimistic about not having an avowed homophobe in chief. Like many other cities they were planning big gay protests for the next day.

Like General MacArthur, but much cuter, I promised them I would return. I reminded them, as I remind you now, that the night before the Inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama we are going to meet at the Ellipse at 6pm to sage the bad spirits out of the White House. Be there or be square.

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Shy of the Stonewall generation, but pushing 50, I suddenly got my pissed off on and it feels good. Young, old - hell, who cares - let's all get out there and fight the good fight.

Sarkozy doesn't know what he missed.

My kids have been walking a little on eggshells wondering when I'm going to blow. They know that I am pissed, they are too. But this may be the first time that the queer generation of my son really comes together to fight something. We had things to fight for at that age, it was still illegal to be in the military (oh wait still is) homophobes were beating people in the streets (oh that one is still around)cops could arrest you just for not being straight because if you are not straight you must be turning tricks (oh wait, they still bag people for being trans or being gay in a public restroom) And then we had the HIV crisis (oh yeah that is still here) ....... and the band played on.....
These young people are just starting to fight this war but it is just another battle for a lot of us.

The Civil War started when Fort Sumpter was shelled. "Remember the Maine!" was the war cry of the Spanish American War. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand started WWI. We went into WWII because of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. And, the first Gulf War started with the invasion of Kuwait.

Almost every war had it's defining moment that started it. We first had Stonewall, but most of the "combatants" became complacent, then old. Prop 8 is the defining moment for this generation and the internet will not allow them to become complacent. "We have the technology. We can rebuild it." And those of us who are the parents of this new generation need to be with them when THEY call the shots. Seeing them at these protests gives me renewed hope.

The radicalism of Stonewall was compromised away; right now we have a moment in time that is ours to seize upon and to move forward with.

And this time, no Mattichinistic "mainstreaming" of the movement, no incrementalism, we go for broke for all of us.

Because as long as any of us are denied full equality, we leave a weapon for the right to use against the rest of us.