Kate Clinton Is Undressing Me With Her Lesbian Glasses

I must confess that I have never seen Kate Clinton perform live. <ducks> So when I had the chance to interview her, I jumped. Well, okay, I typed. She responded in like 20 seconds and I was laughing the entire time I read her answers. That’s good. And I learned stuff. Also, good.

Kate Clinton returns to our region with two performances.
Kate Clinton returns to our region with two performances.

Kate, you’ve been to Pittsburgh in the past. What’s our best-kept-secret? What about Columbus?

ONCE I EMCEED A GAY PRIDE RALLY AT THE POINT PARK, AND AS SOME BISHOPS IN TOWN FOR A MEETING TOOK A BREAK AND PRAYERFUL WALK AROUND THE PERIMETER, I USED MY BULLY PULPIT. I MADE THE WORD MONONGAHELA SOUND FILTHY. THE COBBLED STREETS IN GERMAN TOWN IN COLUMBUS ARE A CRUEL JOKE ON ALL THE QUEENS IN HEELS WHO LIVE THERE.

 In an interview, you described comedy as “dangerous” referencing how laughter exposes our vulnerability to new ideas, new ways of thinking. As a liberal, I can’t help but feel exposed when I laugh at things that aren’t *supposed* to be funny – that should violate my sense of propriety, or what’s correct. Is that guilt?

WOW, DID WE GO TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL TOGETHER? I’VE ALWAYS FELT THAT CALLING SOMEONE POLITICALLY IN/CORRECT IS A POLITE WAY OF TELLING THEM TO SHUT UP. YOU GO AHEAD AND LAUGH AND IF ANYONE GIVES YOU A HARD TIME, LET ME KNOW.

Tell me about the very first LGBTQ person you knew and what that meant for you?

I KNEW A LOT OF CLOSETED LGBTQ PEOPLE. THE FIRST OUT LESBIAN WAS MOUTHY, WICKED SMART AND CALLED ME OUT ON EVERYTHING. ONE TIME AT THE HOUSE I WAS SHARING WITH ‘A FRIEND’, SHE ASKED, “SO IS THIS THE FAKE BEDROOM?” SHE WAS ALSO ANTI-WAR, A RADICAL FEMINIST AND LOVED POT. I COULD NOT STAY AWAY FROM HER.

 Who is your favorite LGBTQ character from television or film or literature?

MAY WE JUST HAVE A MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR ANNETTE FUNICELLO INSTEAD?

What’s the secret to a pair of sexy lesbian glasses? And why are they so potent?

THE XRAY FUNCTION WHICH ALLOWS ME TO UNDRESS YOU. I ONLY USE IT FOR THE GOOD.

What resonates with you right now about the LGBTQ political culture?

THE SENSE THAT WE BETTER GET READY FOR LIFE AFTER MARRIAGE EQUALITY. HOW DO WE MAINTAIN MOMENTUM TO DEAL WITH BULLYING, TRANS-VIOLENCE, HOMELESSNESS, IMMIGRATION?

I’m a fan of The New Normal on NBC, but I adore the character of Anne on “Go On.” How have these characters (and so many before them) used laughter to open minds? (Fair warning: we don’t have cable so I’ve never ever seen any of the big LGBTQ shows, not even Queer as Folk.)

YOU DON’T HAVE CABLE? ALERT THE MEDIA! SO IF YOU DON’T GET THE LGBTQ SHOWS THEN YOU MUST BE A TAD CLOSED-MINDED. HMMM. I’M GOING TO HAVE TO SEND YOU MY DVDS.

Is there an age-ceiling for female comics, straight or LGBTQ?

TWO WORDS: BETTY WHITE.

Will you campaign for Hillary?

I’VE VOWED NOT TO BUG HILLARY CLINTON WITH MY IDLE SPECULATION ABOUT WHAT SHE SHOULD DO WITH HER LIFE OTHER THAN TAKE NAPS, EAT BON BONS AND READ NOVELS. UNTIL 2014. IN THE MEANTIME I WILL CAMPAIGN FOR HILLARY SWANK.

Jason Collins broke ground this week (good for him) but how interesting that nearly a dozen women athletes came out as far back as the 1970’s (Renee Richards.) Any thoughts on this?

MANY, MANY MORNINGS A WEEK, I LOOK THROUGH THE NYT SPORTS SECTION AND SAY TO MY GALPAL, “WELL ABSOLUTELY NO WOMEN PLAYED SPORTS YESTERDAY.” WHAT’S NEW ABOUT THIS IS THAT JASON IS STILL ON AN ACTIVE ROSTER AND THAT IT WAS HIS CHOICE. YEARS OF BEHIND THE SCENES ORGANIZING HAVE GONE INTO THIS MOMENT. CHECK OUT youcanplayproject.org FOR MORE GREAT STUFF.

Kate is coming to both Pittsburgh and Columbus in May. Tickets are available here. Many thanks to Static Dog Entertainment for continuing to bring LGBTQ talent to the region. If we can get some events at Club Cafe, my world will be complete. 🙂

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