Kathy Griffin: Feminists Can Learn Something From LGBT Activism

Kathy Griffin Marriage Equality
David A. Beloff/Getty Images

This is a revolution that has been rapid and admirable. As a feminist, one of the reasons I admire the LGBT community so much is that this is what they do so effectively, and frankly, women should learn from it. Women have great, great strides to make. We’re not even close to equality, while the LGBT community is so good at working together, legislating, sticking together.

I have a vested interest in equality, because I’m a woman in an extremely male-dominated field. I am doing shows in 80 cities this year, so don’t talk to me about the “real America,” because that’s where I’m going. The people who come to my shows and the people who watch me on television, they run the spectrum. They’re gay guys who have been married or together for decades, they’re soccer moms. They’re younger people who frankly didn’t grow up in the world I did, when Stonewall was on the front page.

My connection to the LGBT community is through humor first, and then activism — anything from canvassing door-to-door to rallies. Don’t talk to me about celebrities who have done one tweet and think they know what #equality means. I have knocked on doors, and asked people what they think about Proposition 8 and the legalization of gay marriage and equality, and I have heard it all.

Look, it’s great to think that the whole world is Hollywood, and two guys can walk down the street holding hands, and they can get married. But there’s also the whole rest of the country out there, where it’s not so accepted yet. But I’m very optimistic.

I typically find that if someone has an issue with equality, it’s because they feel it’s something that doesn’t touch them. I have met many, many people who were not supportive of the LGBT community until one of their friends or relatives came out — and boy, do they turn around fast. There’s a litany of representatives that were completely against the legalization of gay marriage until they found out their son or daughter is gay, and then all of a sudden they say, “Well, I’m a conservative, but on this one issue I want my kid to be happy. I’m a parent first.”

This is a multilayer battle, and it will continue to be. But there’s real boots-on-the-ground work to be done.