Melissa Etheridge endorses Ron Paul as best Republican candidate

EXP Magazine
MidAtlantic Edition
August 31, 2007
EXP Cover Story: Wide Awake
by Lawrence Ferber at 7:15 pm.
Melissa Etheridge knows how to turn pain and life’s challenges into fantastic music. Evidence 2001’s Skin, borne from and about her heart-wrenching split with partner Julie Cypher. And her new album, The Awakening (Island), the first since her 2004 diagnosis of breast cancer, comes on the heels of her battle with the disease. Her ninth album, with a purity and truth she attributes to the arduous ordeal, it’s certifiably one of her best, strongest and most career-defining works to date.
“OK,” she responds to the compliment, “but can you tell the universe I’m done with the personal hell stuff?”
Both hellish lows and heavenly highs are represented on The Awakening, a concept album that traces Etheridge’s life and career from its start, when the Midwest-raised singer/songwriter made her way to California for first gigs and same-sex affairs, to the triumphs of today, which include last year’s Best Song Academy Award win for An Inconvenient Truth’s “I Need to Wake Up.” With an additional theme of time travel, Etheridge also takes the opportunity to confront the her of yesterday, as well as prepare for the her of tomorrow with the inspirational “Message to Myself.” She also affords listeners an intimate and raw peek into her experiences in love, relationships and sex with ditties like “Threesome” and “An Unexpected Rain.”
Having recently questioned the Democratic Presidential candidates on HRC/LOGO’s historic GLBT panel, Etheridge is in a healthy and pleasant place today. In fact, wife Tammy Lynn Michaels (the inspiration behind Etheridge’s “happy” 2004 album, Lucky) occasionally appeared in the background to chime in as we chatted via telephone about the album, why she doesn’t want any more threesomes, and whether she suspects that Hillary is one of the Sapphic sisterhood.
EXP: I loved you on the HRC/LOGO Democratic candidates’ forum.
ME: “I was so honored to be there. The crazy thing is I was thinking, ‘I’m going to represent my community,’ which is an absolutely impossible thing to do because our community cuts across every single group, organization and kind of person. There’s absolutely no way you can really represent everybody.”
EXP: Like a Leatherman who’s into feet!
ME: “We’re not even all Democrats or Liberals or anything. So it was kind of a lopsided thing but what an honor to be there. I tried to conduct myself as best I could.”
EXP: Who’s the hottest Democratic candidate, having seen them all in the flesh?
ME: “You know, that John Edwards, he’s a handsome boy. And he’s got a million-watt smile.”
EXP: Were there any awkward Hillary moments?
ME: “Oh my god, yeah. I’ve done so much with the Clinton presidency and I knew him and she was the first lady. So to kind of stand back and have to say—because I felt it had to be talked about and brought up—‘hey, I remember doing all this work for the Clinton campaign and then one by one all the promises were sold down the river and it really hurt.’ I understand the politics of it, I do, but I wanted to just confront her [about it]. And it was a little awkward and I don’t think she was expecting that.”
EXP: Did you get a lesbian vibe from her?
ME: “(laughs) No. I think it’s unfortunate that a powerful woman who is succeeding is labeled a lesbian. I don’t know whether to take that as an insult or compliment. And so here she is a powerful woman and of course lesbian stuff all around her, and if it had been a different sort of forum I would have said, ‘Hillary, I’m a lesbian, I know lesbians, and you are no lesbian.’”
EXP: If you could face the Republican candidates next, whom would you like to put some questions to?
ME: “Oh, the only Republican candidate I would even talk to is Ron Paul. Actually, now that I think of it I would like to talk to Mike Huckabee because he’s a spiritual guy and there’s a little more to him than these other guys who seem to be power-hungry and weird.”