Lastnight I went to a benefit on top of the firefly building in Dayton where the Rubi Girls performed. I was invited by the director of the film festival here, Jonathan, who last night transformed into the fabulous drag queen Ileasa Plymouth (!)
The Rubi Girls are a drag troupe who have been performing since the late 80's. They're famous for not only putting on a great show...but doing it all for charity. They've raised tons of money for various charities, and a lot for HIV/Aids. Not only that, the whole region has come to love them. A region in red state Ohio.
Besides wanting to support smaller town gay film festivals, I particularly wanted to visit Ohio. After the 2004 election loss, Ohio has become the poster boy red state. I wanted to come here and make peace with it.
I've met several people in Dayton who did everything they could back in 2004. They went to their neighbors, they made cold calls to try and sway the vote. One man told me that he was cold calling voters, and knew that Ohio was lost when every other person he spoke with said they were voting for Bush because, if not, gay marriage may come to pass.
I just love it when people base their vote on an issue that is not going to affect them at all. Things may be different if the gays weren't pushing for marriage at election time, but I say there is never a wrong time to do the right thing. And after seeing the Rubi Girls, and speaking with people who actually took action to try and change things, I see that it's much too easy for me to sit in Manhattan and shake my head at Ohio. In other words, these people are part of the solution.
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