The Power Lesbians Behind Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign


It’s on at her headquarters in New York City. Hillary Clinton’s campaign staff works vigorously to the sounds of the Indigo Girls. Lesbians have practically taken over the compound, wearing flannel shirts and cargo shorts, rooting for WNBA dream teams that existed in the ’90s. “Here’s to you Cynthia Cooper and Sheryl Swoopes,” is used in place of their sign-off signatures on all the emails. Rugby quietly plays on the television in perpetuity to mentally prepare them for the scrum of their lives; electing Hillary Clinton for President. 

Okay, so I’m kidding about all of the above. At least I think I am. I just can’t help but imagine how crazy cool it is to work for Hillary Clinton, running against Donald Trump in what has got to be the most unconventional, most unpredictable campaign in American history. Furthermore, working for Hillary Clinton as a lesbian, people I relate to, someone like me. Are there basketball hoops on the trashcans? Is there a button making and beer tasting room that replaces the traditional water cooler meet-up? I know from my own time working on campaigns that things can be hectic, but running against Donald Trump! Whoo buddy, that’s not just a different ball game, that’s a ball game on another planet. Like Space Jam, if it ended with all the Looney Toons characters being rounded up and deported to Mexico. 

You may have noticed by now that AfterEllen had the good sense to send a comedian (that’s me!) to have a chat with the lesbian staffers of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. What a treat it was.

As our live-chat flickers from their New York headquarters, a gaggle of Hillary Clinton’s queer women staffers are sitting side-by-side at a long table. I’m going to go ahead and describe it as the smartest, most talented Last Lesbian Supper in existence (this time with fewer dresses) taking time out of their incredibly busy schedule to give us a frank, funny, interview on what it’s like to work for our heroine, Hillary Clinton.

Aditi HardikarAfterEllen_3photos courtesy Hillary for America

Just like in my dreams; photos, paintings, and portraits of Hillary Clinton line the walls around the room. From the moment I saw the women I could tell I was dealing with Hillary’s Power Lesbians. Several of them had their phones on the table, but not in a rude way, in a power lesbian way.  You know what I mean. Like at any moment something important could happen, and it would involve black car somehow.

That’s because queer women are involved in almost every major facet of the Clinton campaign. Everything from setting up campaign events, to running her social media accounts on Twitter, or Facebook, to the woman who is Chief-of-Staff (i.e. Charlene in Charge). Each and every person quoted in this story is a lesbian who works for Hillary Clinton. I write this now to avoid saying a million times, “Lesbian Anne, Aditi who is a Lesbian, Emmy, a queer lesbian, or big time lady lover Brynne,” you get what I’m saying. They’re all lezzzzzzbians, k?

Off the bat, Clinton’s campaign and her inclusion of queer women is a sharp contrast to Donald Trump’s campaign, whose only mention of lesbian includes hiring a campaign manager who referred to the seven sisters schools a “bunch of dykes.” First of all, thank you.  Second of all, he might be right. By its geographical definition, a “dyke” is either magmatic or sedimentary in origin. I do believe this describes every lesbian I know perfectly. Are you booed up and never go out? Say hi to your girlfriend, Sedi! You’re single and back on the scene again? Look at you being magmatic again.

Alas, here are Hillary Clinton’s sedimentary and magmatic lesbians.

L to R: Paola Ramos, Emmy Bengtson, Jenna Lowenstein, Heather Stone, Brynne Craig, Anne Haley, Aditi HardikarAfterEllen_4

For so many reasons, Hillary’s presidential campaign is already historic. For the first time in history, a woman has claimed the nomination for a major party. Hillary Rodham Clinton follows in the footsteps of women who protested, and fought, and lived and worked and raised the consciousness of this country through child-rearing, through saying no to child-rearing, through friendships, through sacrifice, through tears, through blood coming out of their wherevers. She stands on the shoulder-pads of giants.

And so do these women, Hillary Clinton’s Power Lesbians. They join behind LGBT political trailblazers like Urvashi Vaid, Hillary Rosen and Laura Ricketts. Visible and out politicians like Tammy Baldwin, Annisse Parker, Cathy WoolardChristine Quinn and Kathy Webb.

When I first reached out to the Clinton Campaign, I thought I’d get maybe talk with one, two queer people. They responded with such enthusiasm. And the proof-is-in-the-pudding that she not only accepts the whole of the LGBT community but seeks us, celebrates us and chooses us.

So who are these women? Let us begin!

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