Watch Margaret on The View on October 7th, 2010, with her DWTS partner, Louis van Amstel, talking about her time on Dancing with the Stars and fighting to end anti-gay bullying after the rash of recent gay suicides:
Posts Tagged ‘GLBT’
I am proud of our performance on Dancing with the Stars. We danced our collective ass off, represented the community with a fabulous rainbow flag and got a really important message of pride and self esteem across in a very exuberant way. Watching the show back, I actually didn’t notice he mistakes that I made! Perhaps I had learned it wrong to begin with! That might be it. I am not as hard on myself and am enjoying the process more, relaxing into it. Maybe that isn’t the way to go, but I want to have fun and not take it so seriously. Trying to do everything, both dancing and touring is very tough, and I’m so tired beyond anything I have ever experienced before. I felt great when the night was through. My feeling is dancing is a wonderful thing, but if you have a moment where you can tell the world something, something so vitally important that it is bursting out of your heart, you have to. I wanted to call an end to the gay teen suicides. I wanted to reach out to their families, prevent it from ever happening again. We will never heal from this loss, but we can protect our children from now on, strengthening them with messages of pride, loving them as hard as we can, making sure they are strong and happy with themselves and can face anything. I made my moment in the spotlight all about that, and that’s the best dance of all.
This week we are telling a story with our dance. Our storyline is my story. When I did TV the first time, what seems like so many years ago, I was told I was too overweight to play myself – I became so sick with anorexia, I almost died. This story is about how I overcame feeling self doubt, and became beautiful to myself. This is the moment when I said to myself, “This is it. This is what I look like – and I accept who I am completely.” So many people never do this in their entire lives. I want to show them how. So it is about Lola, the showgirl, who is beautiful and is loved by herself and everyone else. I am a showgirl – because I am showing off this girl!! It’s also an important story to tell because there have been so many suicides by gay teens lately. I want to reach out to these kids who feel like they don’t have any hope and say that yes, there is hope. There is love. Stay with me. Let’s stick around for it. Together.
Get involved in the We Give a Damn Campaign against anti-gay bulling in schools at WeGiveaDamn.org
We danced so hard last night. My feet are pounding. I can feel my heart beat in them. The satin dance shoes are too narrow for me, so the bands cut into my toes. There are huge blisters. Still, they are getting calloused over, because I am not giving up. I am dancing through.
I loved the jive, and our song “Dreaming” by Blondie is one of my all time favorites. I love Debbie Harry and she inspired me a lot. I thought we did great – and the judges seemed to like it too. It was very intricate choreography. I wanted to hold my breath the entire time as if this would somehow make me do it better. Now we are just waiting to see what happens tonight.
I really want to stay in the competition because our next routine is going to be amazing – we are totally going for a gay pride theme with a fabulous samba! I am sure there will be some crying too – because it’s a serious topic. I am so upset about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell not being repealed, and the everpresent frustration of Prop 8. We need to represent ourselves fighting for equal rights every triple step of the way.
I attended a special event at the White House to celebrate Asian American history month, which I never know when it is. I am guessing it is May because this is May. But to me every month is Asian history month mostly because I am in a constant state of learning about it and myself and how we came to be in this country and how we stay here and constantly reinvent and redefine who we are.
It was a really cool shindig, with lots of people I absolutely adore in the (white) house such as angryasianman (who is super hot and sexy in person btw – sorry to objectify you but you’re adorable), DJ Rekha, Kelly Hu and my old friend Kal Penn who actually works there! I saw him outside with a clipboard, which to me means working because nobody has a clipboard unless they are hard at work.
We were treated to lots of the good white house crème brulee and hot bhangra beats from DJ Rekha and then waited for the President to come and give a speech. I haven’t been to the White House since the Clinton administration, so it was a wonderful feeling to come back after all these years and feel so welcome. Even though the building is the same, the place has changed so much. All the White House staffers are so young! It’s really fantastic to see the younger generation so passionate about politics and devoting all their energy to the Obama administration. It’s rock and roll and very exciting!
Speaking of rock and roll, of course when Obama was giving his speech, I secured a spot right in the front row. I have been to enough rock shows and been a groupie long enough to know that when you want to get backstage, you have to stand in front of the lead singer, not directly facing him but slightly to his left, where the rockstar eye naturally rests. Anyways, during his speech, the president actually winked at me! He came down off the podium and walked over to me and held my hand for several minutes and told me he was a fan of mine and that I am very funny and he enjoyed my comedy immensely. He asked what I was doing and if I was touring and I said I was working for Lifetime and about to go on tour and overall, trying to represent. And he said, “well you are doing a fine job representing us all… a wonderful job! Very very funny!” and then he got pulled away by his multitude of security and staff and fans. It was an incredible moment for me and something I will treasure for the rest of my life. Because to me Obama is much more than the leader of the free world. Yes he is president and he is the most important dude on earth, but his meaning goes far beyond political office. What Obama represents to me is the idea that we have come so far as a nation in terms of race and acceptance and inclusion that we can have a president who is not white. I think that this resounds so deeply with me and all those who have felt at one time or another like ‘the other.’ Obama’s meaning in society today is practically mythological. His presence means we have arrived somewhere different. Somewhere better. This is the world I would like to live in.
Politics are changing, and it’s tremendously exciting. If you live in San Francisco, I urge you to check out Theresa Sparks who is running for office there. She is another person, like Barack Obama, whose meaning and work and presence is almost mythological. Almost legend. Her story is much like that of Harvey Milk, and she is so similar that Stuart Milk has spoken on her behalf many times and also is a major player in her campaign for office in San Francisco. I have had the pleasure of knowing Theresa for many years. I first met her when she invited me to join the board of Good Vibrations, where I served for two years. I got to know her very well through our many board meetings and lots and lots of dinner parties talking late into the night. I was impressed by her on so many levels. Theresa Sparks is a transwoman who has fought homophobia and prejudice and hatred coming from so many different sides, eventually prevailing over so much ignorance to finally becoming President of the police commission. It’s incredible that a transgendered person is capable of surviving in the police force at all but to have the strength and passion and intellect and moxie to actually become the President of the police commission – it’s a downright miracle. I believe in Theresa Sparks and her continuing capacity for miracles. She has worked tirelessly for the LGBT community in San Francisco, focusing primarily on the transgendered community, which is the part of our family that always seems to get left out, and she is a true political icon and heroic figure for me and countless others.
Still, her campaign has been fraught with much ignorance. When seeking endorsement from the ‘liberal’ women’s political groups, Theresa has been told that they only support ‘real women.’ I think this is disgusting. Not only is Theresa Sparks a real woman, she is an inspiration to all women. She is a fighter, a survivor, a whipsmart businesswoman, a mother, the kind of leader my beloved hometown needs. She is someone who will change San Francisco, and in doing so, change the world, something that has to happen and happen right now. I no longer live in the beautiful city by the bay, but I still love it, I still care about what happens there and so I urge you to see what Theresa Sparks is doing. Like Obama, she’s a symbol that the world is changing. And we are all better for it.