Interview With Melissa Etheridge

AE:Right. I think that a lot of gay viewers really identified with what
you said to Hillary Clinton about feeling like we were thrown under a
bus after Bill Clinton was elected.
ME:
Yeah.

AE: I feel like she kind of responded by saying that change can’t happen as quickly as we want.
ME:
[Chuckles.] As me, a cancer survivor, would like to see? Yeah, and that was a political way of answering it.

I felt a responsibility, having
been there, having come out at Bill Clinton’s inauguration, having been
there at that time of so much hope and been there with those leaders
who — oh my gosh — who worked so hard to elect a president who would even say the words gay and lesbian. And we did have so much hope, and we saw the political process really beat him down and our issues.

And I still think that the
Clintons were one of the best things that’s happened to America. I’m
still a huge supporter and fan and friend of them, and I think that
Hillary Clinton would make an excellent president. I just felt that for
our community, we needed to talk about the elephant in the room: “OK,
we have some issues about some feelings we have from a few years ago.”

I just want to lay it out there
and say, hey, we kind of felt this way. Please don’t do that to us
again [laughs], because we probably won’t be able to take it again. And
just be aware that we don’t want to be a political football; we don’t
want to organize … and get together and
get you guys elected and then OK, where else are you gonna go and get
pushed aside? I just didn’t want that to happen again.

AE: Right. Well, who do you support for the Democratic nomination right now?
ME:

You know what? It’s funny because people would ask me that and I’d say,
“Oh my God, anybody!” Give me a Democrat dog — I don’t care. Just anything is better
than this hellhole that we’re in now.

But when I really look at it,
and especially after the process of that forum … I am a Democrat, and
I will support whomever my party nominates for president and vice
president. I will absolutely, whole-heartedly, all my heart and soul
support them, whether it be Clinton, Obama, Edwards — whatever it is.

But I have to tell you that one
man got up there on that forum, and he spoke of a world that I want to
live in, and he spoke like a leader that wants to take our country and
our world to a place that I’ve only dared dream about. And people are
afraid of him; people don’t understand him. They think he’s weird
because he is so far ahead of his time, and that’s Dennis Kucinich.

I fawned all over him at the
forum — I know, I tried not to — but if you seriously,
I mean, get past the name, get past how he looks, get past whatever.
Even if you think, “Oh, he can’t get elected,” just listen to what the
man has to say, and if you hear what he has to say and understand what
he’s talking about, it is so exciting that that’s even in our election
process today.

I am very hopeful. I am a
Dennis Kucinich supporter and fan. I will support whomever my party
elects, but I really think that we need to listen to what he has to
say, and … if we truly believe that we
are worthwhile in our thoughts and our feelings and our opinions and
the way we want to see the world … then
when a leader steps up and says, “I believe this too,” we have to
support him.

We can’t say, “Give us gay
marriage,” and then when a guy comes up and says, “It’s about equality.
You need gay marriage,” we can’t then turn away. You have to say, “OK,
this guy is talking the talk.” It’s a difficult thing.

AE:
The last song on your album, “What About Tomorrow,” it almost seemed
like it was a campaign song written for the Clinton campaign.
ME:

Isn’t that funny? I know. [Laughs.] Well, the one verse, the verse
about “I believe a woman can work hard and succeed and be the
president,” was written because months ago when people were starting to
talk about the 2008 elections, I would say: “This is exciting. This guy
Barack Obama, he’s an African American, and Hillary Clinton,” and all
these things, and they’d say “Well, is America really ready for a woman
president?”

And I would get so frickin’
upset. I’m like, are you kidding me? If after we’ve seen where
religious fundamentalism and patriarchy can lead our
country — to the brink of ruin and
disaster — you mean to tell me that mmm, maybe we
still can’t elect a woman now? And I just thought that was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard, and that people really sell their hope out because they think that other people won’t like it.

And that’s what I’m saying, is
that I believe any woman can be president. That someone can work hard
and succeed. … If Hillary gets the
nomination, sure, go ahead. Take it. Fine. Great. But it was written
really just about the fact of [how] we really have to start believing
what we want to see in the future. We have to start believing right
now, today. We have to stop giving our power to other people.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

Tags: , , ,