For Iowa, today is the like the Oscars, Super Bowl, and Christmas all rolled into one; a day of glamour, thrill, and prayers. As Iowans head to the polls and help decide the nominees for this historic election, we posited some questions to one of the state's most influential LGBT players, Donna Red Wing, executive director of the state's LGBT advocacy group, One Iowa.
The Advocate: Are LGBT Iowans politically active?
Donna Red Wing: LGBT Iowans, at least those we work with, are, like most Iowans, very political. In Iowa, it is because of our politics and our judiciary that we have the protections we need. We are politically savvy, smart, and active. LGBT Iowans show up. We work for our candidates and we caucus.
Are LGBT Iowans particularly vested in Hillary versus Bernie, or Trump versus Cruz?
I do not think that I have personally met a Cruz or a Trump supporter who is LGBT. Maybe they exist but they have not "come out" to me in support of either. Both Sanders and Clinton enjoy enormous support from our community. And O'Malley is well regarded.
The Human Rights Campaign recently endorsed Clinton in Iowa; do you think that will make any difference to LGBT voters in Iowa, or possibly queer allies?
I believe that Iowans make up their own minds. We respect and appreciate our national organizations, but we have been vetting the candidates for some time now.
Can a caucus ever be fun?
An Iowa caucus is democracy at its best. An event where citizens' voices are heard, in our precincts, across the state, and around the nation. It can be messy and passionate. How much fun is that? I know that I am looking forward to caucus night and to a robust conversation with my neighbors.
Finally, are there gay parties on caucus night? Drag queens dressed up as Clinton or Fiorina?
Shoot me a text if you find one.