This is my last column for the Washington Blade.
Since 2013, it has been a pleasure to reflect on many momentous LGBT events. During my four-year tenure, the Supreme Court struck down DOMA and Prop 8. Pope ‘who-am-I-to-judge?’ Francis was sworn in. Athletes started coming out of the closet and breached one of the last homophobic barriers. The Supreme Court ruled we were full human beings entitled to full marriage equality.
When the inevitable backlash began, it was good to have an outlet for my fury. Lil Kim gave Kentucky a bad name. North Carolina rescinded gender-neutral bathroom ordinances. Then there was the heartbreaking news out of Orlando. All this happened in the context of endless war, racist violence, wealth disparity, retro-misogyny and a seemingly endless presidential campaign.
I have been grateful for the opportunity to write this column and am grateful to you, my readers. The discipline of a deadline made me write more regularly, if not always gratefully. Many of the ideas in my monthly columns found their way into my stand-up. And some lines in my stand-up – “If the Internet were in 3D it would look like ISIS” – should have been a column in the first place and not so much a series of jokes.
But this is my last column. Cue the weeping, the wailing and the keening. “Nooooo, don’t go!” Keep it up. “We won’t know what the old lesbians are thinking without you!” Cue the gnashing of the teeth, the rending of the garments unless they’re Eileen Fisher.
This is my last column for the Blade — wait for it — without a woman elected president of the United States.
Hope that buildup didn’t sound as coy as Trump saying he will accept the outcome of the election “if I win.” He said he meant it as a joke, but we saw his joke skills at that Holy Friars Club Roast in NYC. He is dead serious when he claims that the election will be rigged. That is: it is so unnatural for a woman to be president, her election would perforce, be rigged.
Truth be told, and it so rarely is, the election is rigged. I was at that secret meeting. Back in the ‘80s, all the different lesbo-feminista families got together at an old hunting lodge in the Poconos. The patriarchy wasn’t going down fast enough. Or at all. We were sick and tired of it. We debated for days. We finally decided on the plan.
First, we needed a woman president. We decided to run a battle-tested woman, probably a grandma, well-known, but not beloved. Her EQ could only go up. The kind of dame who never gives up, will wear you down, and make you beg to be water-boarded. That kind of dame.
We’d lure the media into creating the biggest, whitest slab of primo patriarch, clueless capitalist, trigger alert, vulgar showman to run against her. Of course we knew we ran the danger of his appeal to actual voters. We fought about strategies. We agreed to have a three-minute tape of him bragging about his sexual exploits. We knew there would be one. We were willing to use it. Billy Bush was the bonus. Turns out those three minutes have had the combined effect of 1,204 Take Back the Night Rallies, 793 Slut Walks and 27,119 performances of “The Vagina Monologues.”
We are encouraged but we caution each other not to get complacent as we near the completion of Phase 1. We remind each other that the polls are artificial intelligence. We have a huge get-the-sisters-out-to-vote plan. We are eager to begin Phase 2. It’s all in the emails.
So hell no, this is not my last column. I’ve been working for this moment for more than half my life. Oh Hill, yes.
Kate Clinton is a longtime humorist. She writes regularly for the Blade.