Thursday, November 09, 2017

Happy Birthday to Iconic LGBTQ Comedian Kate Clinton

Kate Clinton was born on this day, November 9, in 1947. 

Clinton was born in Buffalo, New York. She was raised in a large Catholic family in the state of New York. She attended Le Moyne College, a small Jesuit liberal arts college in Syracuse, New York and received her master's degree from Colgate University in the Village of Hamilton. Clinton went on to teach high school English for eight years before becoming a comedian. She began performing stand-up comedy in 1981.

Clinton has lived in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts, with her partner Urvashi Vaid since 1988. Vaid was Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (1988-92) and has been an activist and writer since that time.

From Kate Clinton's Web site:

Kate Clinton is a faith-based, tax-paying, America-loving political humorist and family entertainer. With a career spanning 36 years, Kate is at the top of her game, ready to stand up to the mic and bon mot her way through presidential campaigns, LGBTQ movements in transition, sports, religion in extremis, and media in rigor mortis. 

Kate has performed nationally since 1981 from Joe's Pub in New York City to the Park West in Chicago to the Herbst Theater in San Francisco, and back to New York for several off-Broadway runs, with hundreds of comedy club dates in between. She has come a long way from those first performances in Unitarian Church basements. Her two decades plus of material are on record in her nine comedy collections, including Lady HAHA, Climate Change, Comedy You Can Dance To, Read These Lips, and The Marrying Kind.

Kate's third book, I Told You So, is a hilarious, bittersweet, politically acute survival guide. Her second book, What The L? is a laugh-out-loud collection of dangerous humor from one of the all-time-favorite lesbian comics living under one of the all-time-worst presidents. In 2005 it was nominated in the humor category for the prestigious 2005 Lambda Literary Award, considered to be the highest accolade for a book from the LGBT community. Her first book, Don't Get Me Started, was published in 1998.

Kate is multi-formatted to the max. She blogs, vlogs, twitters, friends, Facebooks. The portal to all this fun is her recently upgraded web site Kate's weekly video blog is must-see TV. In it she is an Andrea Rooney pleasantly kvetching about the news and views of the day. But without the eyebrow problem. Kate writes bi-monthly columns for The Progressive and a monthly column in the Washington Blade, which she waxes comical and philosophical about the state of our nation and those who have put us in such a state.

Kate also blogs for Huffington Post, Washington Blade, and The Progressive. She has written for The New York Times, Women's Review Of Books, and The Advocate among other publications. Kate served as a writer on The Rosie O'Donnell Show during its rollout period in 1996.

She performed at the 2001 V-Day celebration of The Vagina Monologues in a sold-out Madison Square Garden benefit to end violence against women. Also in 2001 Kate replaced Dick Cavett on Broadway as the Narrator of The Rocky Horror Show. In 2002 she appeared for 6 weeks in the New York production of The Vagina Monologues.

In addition to live performance, Kate appeared in the film The Secret Lives of Dentists directed by Alan Rudolph and is one of four lesbian comics featured in Laughing Matters. \

Kate has taught humor writing at the prestigious Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, where poet laureate Robert Pinsky and Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Cunningham have also taught. She lectures widely on humor and the uses of humor in cultural change.

Kate has emceed hundreds of fundraising dinners and events which have raised millions of dollars for The National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Ms. Foundation, LPAC, the New York City LGBT Community Center, Creating Change, the Gill Foundation, and the STREB dance lab to name a few.

She has received awards from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and at the 2007 GLAAD Media Awards, Kate Clinton was presented with the Pioneer Award. In 2009 Anne Meara presented Kate with SAGE's Ken Dawson Advocacy Award.

"Kate Clinton has held the mirror that reflects every single issue that has faced us for the last 25 years. We've laughed with her, we've cried with her, and we've been changed by her," said Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

The clip below is from the early 1990s.


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