What an empowering, exciting weekend in DC! I am so happy I decided to go even though Barney Frank said it would do no good. I have to beweave it did.
We checked into the new W on Saturday afternoon and were psyched — it's the old Washington hotel across from the White House, totally renovated with a great roof bar. That night was the Human Rights Campaign Fund gala dinner. Many fundraisers call themselves "gala" events but, by virtue of the entertainment alone, this one deserved the title. It was the cast of Glee, President Obama, Lady Gaga, and Patrick Kennedy presenting an award named after his late dad to Judy and Dennis Shepard. President Obama was spectacular. He said he knew he'd arrived because he was opening for Lady Gaga. He went on to give an impassioned defense and history of gay rights, list what he plans to do, and an emotional tribute to the Shepards and their Hate Crimes Bill named for their son Matthew which he'll soon sign.
Many gays are pissed at what they see as Obama's broken promises but I believe he will come through, but that this was not first on his agenda. (I would feel better if he'd indeed achieved what WAS first on his agenda, of course...). That being said, I understand that to overturn "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" all he needs to do is sign an Executive Order; maybe this is heresay but if it is so I don't understand what he's waiting for since it's on his list of things to do. If by this time next year he's done nothing, I'll consider turning on him.
Lady Gaga played a white piano and sang a phenominal "Imagine," with rewritten lyrics about equality for the gays. The Shepards were at the table next to us and it is always quite emotional to see Judy, whose son's death thrust her into a lifetime of activism and honorary Mom-of-all-gays. You can see the pain on her face and my heart breaks to think about what she's been through. I was honored to meet her husband and son, and the 3000 strong in the room gave the evening's longest and most emotional ovation to them.
There was much speculation that yesterday's march would be poorly attended, but the streets were teaming with people and the 400 Starbucks locations near our hotel were overflowing with the accesories of any gay march: rainbows, strollers, fanny packs (my lesbian sisters), and hilarious signs. It was a beautiful day and the headline for me was the massive amount of young people everywhere. Their energy and passion made a huge difference in the day. My fave chant was "Hey, Obama, let mama marry mama." We ran into a lot of great people from NYC, including Cynthia Nixon, whose speech later at the Capital Rally was one of the best, so reasoned and clear: you could've heard a pin drop. She was surprising and superimpressive.
I always love the signs. Here's a random one:
And here's one that is perhaps over the edge of decency:
And here's someone I met named Mike with my personal favorite:
Speaking of She, by Sheree — and I know we were — "Tardy for the Party" was EVERYWHERE over the weekend. I heard it a lot and people were INTO IT. It was an "I laughed, I cried, it was better than 'Cats' " kind of weekend, due mainly to hanging out with my friend Michael:
Oh and here's me freaking out with a crazy gayhater!
Amazingly, at the rally at the capital, hours after the entire crowd somberly sang the gay national anthem "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," something EVEN GAYER happened! Would you beweave that a teeny rainbow appeared out of nowhere on a random patch of sky — on a bright sunny day — and people started flipping out? It's true. My camera kind of captured it. Kind of didn't, either.
How did that rainbow appear? Freaky. (And Kennedy's secretary was named Lincoln ...) So I'm splitting D.C. today and heading for Los Angeles to celebrate tonight's finale of Rachel Zoe Project and premiere of Million Dollar Listing. You are going to LOVE both; I am really happy with how MDL turned out this season. Chad is hilar; they are all great.