If one thing can be said about queer culture, it's that we love powerful women. That's why on Nov. 8, LGBTQ citizens across the country will come out en masse to elect Hillary Clinton for president of the United States.
The higher the heels (be they stilettos or stompers), the bolder the walk, the fiercer our devotion. From Eleanor Roosevelt and Audre Lorde to Madonna, Michelle Obama, Gloria Steinem and Laverne Cox, these powerful female icons have inspired everyone from drag queens to lesbian academics to werk! And to live bolder and louder.
Why do we love these mighty women? Because they have the courage and audacity to expand boundaries and shatter ceilings — even when it might break a nail. But any woman who redefines the rules is going to fuel the wrath of an insecure patriarchy.
And that's exactly what Hillary Clinton has done her entire life: endure the onslaught of scrutiny and viciousness that would level any ordinary man, while gracefully empowering the us's — the marginalized, the different, the feminine. It's staggering, the vitriol, hatred and pure misogyny that is leveled against her. Decades of false charges, conspiracy theories and exaggerated scandals have attempted to delegitimize her remarkable achievements and contributions as a public servant. And in many ways, the right wing campaign to destroy Hillary Clinton has been effective in casting doubt in the electorate's mind about her trustworthiness.
But we in the LGBTQ community aren't easily fooled. We unfortunately recognize these kind of schemes all too intimately. Oftentimes we're on the receiving end of smear tactics and propaganda from people who similarly want to dehumanize us in an attempt to limit our access to basic civil rights. In fact, the forces targeting women like Hillary Clinton have been attacking the LGBTQ community for decades. And people of color. And immigrants. And so on.
So, the first woman to become president of the United States must be outrageously fierce. She needs to be able to brush off the insanity like a piece of invisible lint during 11-hour witch hunt, er … Benghazi hearing. She needs to be able to weather the storm of running against the most petulant, dishonest and unprepared candidate in the history of our country. And she needs to be able to do it in heels.
Thankfully, we have all that in Hillary Clinton.
And we have to step up, too. We know that the most effective way of combating lies and discrimination is to tell and retell our stories. Hillary Clinton's is beautiful; she has been fighting for families since she was a teenager when she helped provide babysitting services for children of migrant workers, and she hasn't stopped. In fact, she just released a detailed plan to elevate LGBTQ lives by protecting against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, ending conversion therapy for minors, protecting the trans* community from violence, protecting our families, increasing access to HIV prevention drugs and fighting youth homelessness.
In one month, and for the first time in history, LGBTQ Utahns have an opportunity to vote for one of the fiercest queens to ever sashay the political stage. So lock the doors, lower the blinds and strike a pose, because Hillary Clinton is ready to unleash some presidential realness.
Are you ready?
Troy Williams is the executive director of Equality Utah. Marina Gomberg is the chair of Equality Utah's Board of Directors.