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How to Make Sure LGBT Issues Come Up in the Next Debates


Amanda Kerri offers some suggestions, like sneaking diuretics into the candidates' water.

At Monday night's presidential debate we were blessed with the greatest eye-gouging, hair-pulling catfight since Alexis and Krystle on Dynasty got into a major tussle and fell into the pond. Bit of a dated reference, I grant you, but since Hillary Clinton is 68 and Donald Trump is 70, it's better than some Real Housewives one.

Anyhoo, the debate was certainly exciting, as we got to question if Trump lacked the stamina to avoid the sniffles or he decided to start an '80s-style cocaine habit as Hillary stared into the camera with a "Can you believe this guy?" look on her face. I don't recall much of the substance of the debate, but then neither do most people, apparently. I do recall some stuff about trade, Trump doubling down on saying black people live in a nightmarish hellscape beyond all human comprehension, and Chinese conspiracies to cause global warming or something. It really wasn't a very good debate for getting the issues across, and while Clinton was off taking a victory lap, Trump was addressing all the issues that he felt he needed to clarify to America, specifically that Miss Universe was fat.

And LGBT issues didn't come up at all. That upset many activists, among them Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, who put out this statement: "We are disappointed that neither presidential candidate spoke about the need for strong federal nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. With an anticipated 100 million viewers watching, this would have also been a great opportunity for the candidates to provide clear remedies on how to advance voting rights, secure reproductive justice, and fix the broken immigration system."

We've got two more of these things -- and a VP debate next week, co-starring the appalling Mike Pence -- and there's a possibility that LGBT issues may not come up in the next ones unless someone specifically brings it up at the town hall-style debate. While to a lot of mainstream America, the issues that face our community may not be as high on their list of priorities as how much Hillary smiles or how bigly Trump is going to build his wall, they are important to us, and we want to hear the candidates' positions. We might have to resort to drastic measures to get them talking about their policies for LGBT folks. I have a few suggestions on how we can sneak in ways to get them to talk about our interests:

1. Sneak a diuretic into their water. Once they both start doing their pee-pee dance, they'll only be allowed to take a bathroom break once they discuss their stands on transgender bathroom rights.

2. Fill the room with colicky babies. They'll only be removed when the candidates discuss their positions on adoption rights.

3. Hack into the sound system. Then bitter losers from previous seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race who have been drinking straight gin for four hours will throw shade until they address the bullying of LGBT youth in our schools.

4. Flash mob them. Yeah, it's dated, but hear me out. The flash mob will proceed to run through the entire production of Rent. Poorly. The choreography will be bad, the singing out of tune, and the lyrics will be just slightly off by a word or two. Enough to frustrate even the most forgiving viewer. This will continue until the candidates explain their positions on HIV and AIDS prevention and health care.

5. Rig the questions at the town hall. All the people chosen will either be interior designers who will ask Trump why he decorates his homes like Liberace designed a bathhouse or fashion design students who will only address Hillary with, "Oh, girl, pantsuits?" This will go on until they agree to debate employment and housing protections.

While there are plenty more issues that need addressing -- prison safety, immigrant rights, foreign policy regarding nations hostile to LGBT people, elder care, hate-crimes legislation -- we unfortunately can't deal with them all. I know this statement might offend some people as it seems to blow off the topics that concern them, but these debates have limited time. Also, I think drugging a presidential candidate with a diuretic is against the law, and before we get to the next question we have to remember that those Secret Service agents are really in shape, and I don't know about you, but I'm not a particularly fast runner.

AMANDA KERRI is a comedian and writer living in Oklahoma City. Follow her on Twitter @EternalKerri.

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