On Monday, out superhero Kate Kane (aka Batwoman) announced her candidacy for mayor of Washington, DC. Batwoman hopes to unseat current mayor Adrian Fenty. If elected, Batwoman, who came out in 2006, would be the first lesbian mayor of our nation’s capital. Voting is currently taking place today at this polling location, and polls will close at 6 p.m. ET today.
At first, I encountered some difficulty in tracking her down. After all, she is a busy woman. However, her campaign manager, Bilerico Project’s Michael Crawford was able to set aside a couple of minutes for me to interview Batwoman — after she intervened in a carjacking near Georgetown and before she retrieved a frightened cat stranded in a tree in one of DC’s Maryland suburbs.
AfterEllen.com: Thanks for setting aside the time to speak with AfterEllen.com. I know you’re short on time, so I’ll go straight into the issues. I’ve read that you opposed Prop 8, but let’s talk about some other issues that affect the LGBT community. It is estimated that up to 40% of homeless youth are queer. Do you have any plans to combat homelessness in the LGBT community’s most vulnerable demographic?
Batwoman: I am glad you’ve called attention to this issue — it’s a huge concern of mine. As mayor, I would mandate comprehensive training for all social service agencies that deal with youth on how to serve LGBT youth effectively. I would increase funding for social service agencies that provide counseling for LGBT youth and their families. Also, I would enact strong anti-bullying legislation that protects all students.
AE: That’s great! Now let’s talk about employment discrimination. If you were a member of Congress, would you accept a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act ("ENDA") that includes protections for sexual orientation but excludes protections for gender identity, appearance or mannerisms in the name of compromise?
Batwoman: I do not see any legitimacy in compromising on equality. America has had this debate before and it was concluded that separate is not equal. From my perspective we either have equal rights or we do not. That being said, I celebrate every victorious battle in the continuing campaign for gender and sexual equality. As we know, the District of Columbia and eight states have set the precedent in enacting employment non-discrimination policies based on both sexual orientation and gender identity in the public and private sector. This is coupled with seven other states how have implemented versions of ENDA. This is a good step, but there is obviously much to be done to actuallize full employment non-discrimination nationally.
AE Awesome. Now I’m going to give you a break from the hard hitting issues. Did you watch The L Word?
Batwoman: I love The L Word! I was so addicted to it! Before I came out, the show was definitely a bit of an oasis for me, and everyone — Bette, Alice, Kit, and the gang — we were like close friends.
AE: But wasn’t the ending awful?
Batwoman: God, that ending!
AE: Would you support a resolution to prevent Ilene Chaiken from releasing an L Word movie?
Batwoman: I’m rather torn about Chaiken doing a movie. On one hand I would love to see all my friends together again. Yet, there’s that old saying that, "You can never go home."
Batwoman: Yes. Renee and I are indeed still friends. She is an amazing woman who was there for me at a formative moment in my life. Unfortunately, and for various reasons, our romantic relationship ended.
Renee Montoya (aka The Question)
AE: That’s good. So she is a supporter of your candidacy.
Batwoman: We do still talk regularly and she is very supportive of my run for mayor of DC.
AE: Any final words for AfterEllen.com readers?
Batwoman:This is a historic moment in American politics. No other generation has ever before elected a Jewish lesbian superhero into public office. As a proud member of the LGBT community, an avid reader of AfterEllen.com, and a fervent advocate of education, health care, and safe neighborhoods, I hope to have your support. Add me on Facebook, and feel free to send me a message — I’ll absolutely respond!
AE: Thank you, and we wish you luck!