For Gay Pride Month, Billboard asked numerous pop culture luminaries to write “love letters” to the LGBTQ community. Below, Emmy-award-winning comedian Kathy Griffin shares hers. Read more Pride Month love letters here.
There are three words I most associate with the LGBTQ community: resilience, love and loyalty.
In my most difficult times, especially in the past year, I have looked to my LGBTQ friends and fans as examples for strength. From Stonewall to the AIDS crisis to the fight for marriage equality and transgender rights, the LGBTQ community has always faced hatred with love and adversity with resilience. For years, gay and lesbian Americans were told they weren’t welcome to serve in the armed forces. They could have given up and moved on but they continued for the right to defend and die for their country. And now that Trump has declared that he wants to ban transgender Americans from serving in the armed services, transgender Americans are heading to the courts to fight his order… not for some personal benefit, but for the right to serve and die for their country. If that isn’t an example of resilience and loyalty, I don’t know what is.
I’ve spent the past 25 years on the road doing stand-up comedy around the country, and on the hardest days it is my LGBTQ fans that are cheering the loudest and lifting me up. They’re also, frankly, the first ones to tell me when I’m not doing my best. Being loyal doesn’t just mean a rubber stamp — it means that you are also honest with those whom you say you love.
Anyone in the arts knows that no fan base is as loyal as the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ fans are there for you when ticket sales are slow, when you’re facing scandal and when things are going really well. Loyalty is their hallmark, and so many artists owe a debt of gratitude to their LGBTQ fans for standing by them… including this comic.
People often tout what they have done for the LGBTQ community, but I believe I owe a debt of gratitude to the community for never letting me down… not even once.