Why do we love Hillary? It’s a question being debated in the LGBT community in advance of a much-talked-about Advocate interview with the junior Senator from New York. Clinton does not, the article points out, support same-sex marriage. (And, according to at least one commentary on the interview, she went to great pains to tell us just how much she doesn’t.) She also, as it turns out, isn’t a lesbian. But she does enjoy an almost cult-like status in the gay community and is doing quite well fundraising in our neighborhoods, too.
So why does a politician who hasn’t yet come around on marriage, and whose husband was responsible for both the Defense of Marriage Act and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” enjoy so much support from gay America?
The answer is simple: We love a diva, and Hillary is well on her way to becoming the first diva president (or diva-in-chief).
You know you’ve made it in the gay community when you no longer need a last name in WeHo, SoBe, Dupont or Chelsea. America’s gay men did away with Madonna’s ‘Ciccone,’ and Cher’s ‘LaPiere.’ Being a one-name wonder is the first sure sign of attaining diva-dom, and Hillary’s campaign signs show just how quickly she’s moving up the gay icon ladder; she hasn’t just dropped the ‘Clinton,’ but the ‘Rodham’ is gone, too. Now, she’s just Hillary or Hill . . . and once in a while, to paraphrase Ms. Jackson, maybe Ms. Clinton . . . if you're nasty.
So while Hillary may not support full marriage equality, she’s on a first-name basis with the gays in a way that must leave even Kucinich and Gravel looking on with wonder.
She has also earned her diva badge in the Gay Scouts of America via the tried and true route that so many before her have traveled: She’s been a scorned wife; a driven working mother; and a political lightning rod. She’s channeled Eleanor Roosevelt, quoted Tammy Wynette, had more re-inventions than Madonna and been the center of more heated debates than just about any woman since Mary Magdalene.
Hillary may the closest thing we’ll ever have to America’s very own Eva Peron. And we know how much gay men love Eva Peron.
In his interview with Clinton, The Advocate’s Sean Kennedy writes that, “Like a blushing schoolgirl, we take the varsity jock’s flirtations at face value, deluding ourselves into believing he’s going to ask us to the prom, when in reality he’s just using us to get to our sexy friend who will actually put out.”
Well, not quite. In fact, it’s more like Hillary is our sexy best friend . . . the political prom’s most glittering gay sidekick . . . the straight-but-not-narrow Grace to every gay man’s Will.
During her appearance on the LOGO presidential forum, Hillary (see how it just rolls off the keyboard without the Rodham Clinton?) told us all that if we want a true friend in the White House – someone who will cut the military jocks who try to keep us out of the service down to size, for instance – she’s “your girl.”
Or, more accurately, girlfriend.
And I say it’s about time. Condi’s boots notwithstanding, we’ve been missing political fierceness for far too long now.
No, she doesn’t support same-sex marriage (yet), but she’ll damn well give a toast at your civil union ceremony that you and your partner won’t soon forget.
So scoot over a little, Ms. Bono, because there’s a new diva to add to the list. (And she’s even won a Grammy, too.) The boys might still dance to Madge at Splash, but they’re marching to the ballot box chanting Hill . . . Hill . . . Hill.