I have a feeling we could start a club: the Kate Clinton Epiphany Club. Mine happened on a Saturday afternoon, about six months after my divorce. It was a non-kid weekend, and I was still feeling the acute despair of not seeing my children for two days. It's not something you get over, by the way, but you learn how to keep busy to keep it at bay.
I had just watched Kate Clinton MC an ACT UP fundraiser at the Brookyn Academy of Music, and was, of course, in love. She is the bomb: hilarious, satirical, silly, searingly intelligent and sexy (in that middle-aged way that is so heartening to those of us who fear obesity and oversized denim shirts are right around the corner).
I flopped down on the couch with a collection of her essays, Don't Get Me Started. If you haven't read it, get it immediately and save it for that bad, bad day that requires massive doses of escapism, laughter, chocolate, carbohydrates, and diet coke.
Now, let's be clear. I am reading the book NOT because I myself am gay, but merely because I find Kate Clinton hilarious and want to know more about her. Right.
So I'm halfway through the book, and have just finished reading about one of her ill-fated early relationships gone horribly wrong, when I get to a story about a young college student who is inspired by Clinton to come out of the closet. Something happens--is it lightening bolt? Sappho's ghost arriving for a brief visit? Or the deft hand of Kate Clinton pausing lightly on my shoulder....
I sit bolt upright, close the book, and say to myself, "I'm gay."
Obviously, this was not a Moses and his tablet moment. There had been lots and lots of subtle shifts and signs along the way. But even though they were welling up, coming closer and closer to the surface, it was something about the way Kate Clinton wrote about the experience of coming out that broke through the final layer of denial.
Therein begins the journey that has led me, six years later, to this lateblooming blog.
Thank you, Kate Clinton. You are the bomb.