“I grabbed her ass!” one young lesbian exclaimed to her friends after snapping a picture with her arm around the former first daughter, Chelsea Clinton, this past weekend in Philadelphia. The shout drew amused laughs from Chelsea, Gov. Ed Rendell and others in the Chelsea retinue.
Yes, as Wonkette.com phrased it, I’m sure MSNBC’s “David Shuster wept because this was proof positive that the Clintons were pimping their daughter out.” For a family that was so guarded about Chelsea’s privacy and distance from the campaign – including the “pimping” comment Hillary took umbrage to – this was a little bit of vindication for Shuster.
Philly – the town that gave us cream cheese and cheese steaks (which aren’t steak, and aren’t really cheese but cheesy sauce) – is home to a large, vibrant and very active GLBT community. Being next in the never-ending primary, and a battleground state as well, there’s no denying Philadelphia’s importance come November elections. So if Clinton is going to catch her second wind anywhere, it’ll be in Pennsylvania – specifically Philly. So it was time for Hillary Clinton’s secret weapon: her daughter.
Chelsea Clinton, it seems, is the toast of the Great Gay Way. At least in Philadelphia (and from reports, in Portland, OR during their Red Party as well). Our local rock radio station was crowing about the Chelsea gay pub crawl and ass-grab. Admittedly, it’s a smart move for Hillary. She’s always been the dream candidate of the gay/lesbian community personified by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Why not shore up an easy and solid bloc for themselves in the Pennsylvania’s most populous town, as well as Oregon’s.
For trans folks in those states who are solidly ObamaTrans, this spells trouble. Like HRC, Hillary’s gunning with both barrels, she’s got HRC folks with her and we’re in a full-scale war.
One of the city’s local blogs, Gawker.com, reported:
Chelsea Clinton was in town Friday night, and boy did she have a fabulous time! And why not: She hit all the gay bars in Center City, along with Ed Rendell and Rob Reiner.
"Chelsea, the gays love you," shouted one gay person. "We love your highlights -- you're gorgeous baby!" said another.
Who knew Obama, and by extension the hopeful trans population, would be sunk by highlights? We can’t fight back on that one. The campaign’s getting ugly. Gawker.com continued:
… Chelsea Clinton was also sexually harassed by at least one person, and not just Christopher Murray, above in the photo, who said Chelsea "has got the body and ass of life."
“Gawker” then replays what’s been hitting the news: the infamous lesbian photo-op with a little something extra. I’m not a Clinton supporter, but something about that strikes me as not that plausible – more braggadocio than real, said for a cheap laugh.
But it’s making the rounds of press and other bloggers like Hicktown Press, who wondered:
“Okay, let’s pause there for a moment. Where exactly was the Secret Service when Chelsea was being attacked by a rude, obnoxious freak? How did someone get so close to her as to put their hands on her behind?” As one of the respondents to that blog in noted, the Secret Service would’ve had the grabbadocious one eating concrete shortly after.
Even with that said, if that were to have been a trans person pulling something like the lesbian Chelsea incident in Philly, I’d daresay the hue and cry would been intense. Straight press would’ve painted us as “freaks” groping the former-president’s daughter. The Gay and Lesbian community would’ve used it as a veritable arsenal of brickbats to lob at us for years after, braying about our lack of maturity, credibility, social awareness, ad nauseum. We’d have never lived that down here in dual-standard-land. So, thankfully it wasn’t one of ours drawing the sensational press.
It appears there were consequences though for the lesbian ‘grabber’. Per Gawker.com:
“Sadly, that woman has now been tracked down and fired from her job for grabbing Chelsea Clinton's ass.”
Again, I doubt the actuality of the incident. If she got fired simply for alcohol-buzzed bravado but no incident, then it was unwise speech – but not a terminable offense.
Undaunted, the Chelsea Clinton juggernaut continued in the city of brotherly love, as SeaQwa.com reported:
After being introduced by Rendell, Clinton gave a brief speech to the mostly male crowd at Woody's [a local gay bar in Philly where the word “crowd” is an understatement], which briefly stopped dancing and checking out the dancers standing on tables (and wearing only briefs) to listen to her.
"I'm so excited to be here," she told the crowd.
"The gay community has great feelings toward the [former] president and Hillary and they happen to love Chelsea," [former Philly mayor, now Gov. Ed] Rendell said.
“We’ll see tonight, easily, 1,500 people,” he said. “And they’re all voters.”
Wonkette.com concurred in their report:
“[Chelsea] Clinton was mobbed by admirers, including some dumb broads who could not figure out how to save pictures on their camera phones. Ed Rendell came along and yapped on a man's phone trying to get the man's mom to vote for Hillary before the guy finally interceded and was like, ‘Dude my cell phone minutes, I do not have so many of them.’”
This past couple weeks has been rough for both the Obama campaign, and also for the trans community. HRC came out and all but declared war with Judy Shepard’s speech here in Houston to challenge the truth wherever they encounter it. It’s a prideful thing for them.
For the Obama campaign, we see HRC helping Clinton breathe life anew calling the gay and lesbian vote home.
Bottom line: the Clinton campaign is not afraid to say they want the gay vote in Pennsylvania and the rest of America. As for transgender, well, Clinton’s folks tried … but with disastrously duplicitous results. The only trans votes Clinton get will be from either HRC sycophants or self-loathing trannies.
That said, trans folks are going to have a tougher time trying to split the gay and lesbian bloc into the fully-inclusive equality types for Obama and the expeditious, get-ours-now-and-don’t-look-back crowd for Clinton. When Matthew Shepard’s mom, Judy Shepard issues a call to arms for all to come to the aid of HRC, we better take note of what we’re facing in the coming months. Even NGLTF’s Matt Foreman, on his departure from his executive director position, admitted concerns that a trans-inclusive ENDA isn’t on the horizon.
HRC and Hillary Clinton are coming after us. They want to win again, and we’re in their way.
How do we fight against those “gorgeous highlights”? We didn’t see that coming.
A troubling sign of the times from Pennsylvania's GLB(t) world ....