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The Art of Inspiration: Women who’ve inspired me in 2008


The Art of Inspiration: Women who’ve inspired me in 2008

Inspiration is hard to come by these days outside of a women’s yogurt commercial. Sad, but true. Yet when I thought about it for longer than thirty seconds I realized that 2008 was such a big year for women in general, but also for inspiring women.  The following are women who have inspired me over the last year (some my entire life!) and I just felt that it was important in many ways for me to recognize them here and possibly bring a new perspective to your concept of inspirational celebrities.


1.       Cyndi Lauper: ( Okay, so I’ve loved her since I was five years old. “She’s so unusual” was my first LP (yes, vinyl!) and is still in heavy rotation in the soundtrack of my life. The reason Cyndi inspired me so much this year is because I saw her twice! First at the True Colors Tour ( in June in Berkeley California. It  was a full day/night of LGBT activism, music, love and inspiration. This was the second such event (last year’s was amazing, too) sponsored in large part by the HRC (Human Rights Campaign PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gays, Logo (LGBT TV), Center Link, Egale Canada (, The Centre ( and the 519 ( This tour was put together to raise awareness about the discrimination against the LGBT community and to provide information and tools in order to make a difference. Cyndi spoke out against all of the major anti-LGBT politicians of the time as well as encouraged everyone to vote and be heard.

But that’s not all Cyndi did this year! On top of the True Colors Tour, Cyndi Lauper released a new Dance album of fabulosity, “Bring Ya To The Brink” which was not only well received by critics and fans alike, she make Billboard’s top Dance chart, too! If you need some music it get you shakin’ your moneymaker or just great music to do some housework, this is the album!

You see, Cyndi Lauper is not one to sit around and bitch about the world, nope, she gets  out there and does something about it! And thus she and her manager manager, Lisa Barbaris  collaborated with Colleen Jackson and West End Intergenerational Residence to create the True Colors Residence, (TCR ), a permanent supportive housing program for homeless LGBT youth 18-24 years old in New York City. They will be building a brand new and modern building for the youths from the ground up. Truly a feat of great minds and an inspiration to us all.

And then I happened to catch Cyndi Lauper again in concert for NRG 92.7’s Anniversary Blast (featuring Lady GaGa, Michelle Williams and more!) and once again I must say that to be in the presence of Cyndi is to see a purity and light like no other. She is an artist first and an activist second and the two within her are a perfect pair. She is always able to bring me to tears and bring the house down with her performances. I love her and will continue to be inspired by her and I will never give up my fight against discrimination!     


2.       Margaret Cho: ( ) This year marked a big year for Margaret Cho. Not only did she return to television with “The Cho Show” on VH1 ( ) with total abandon (it was on her terms afterall). She also embarked on yet another tour ( ) and is still on the road…NOW! She has been as always very active in the fight for LGBT rights, specifically against California’s Proposition 8 which was attempting to ban gay marriage (and eventually passed). She’s been featured on Logo, CNN and Current TV among other television appearances. She’s still hilarious and fierce and one hell of a blogger ( )! I love her and can’t wait to see her in San Jose at the end of the month. Rock on!


3.       Hillary Rodham-Clinton: ( ) Wow! I’m still trying to find the words here…Strong comes to mind. Amazing, powerful, inspiring (of course)…there’s no one word to describe Hillary’s rise to the peak of the political mountain. And now our very own Secretary of State! She has continued to inspire me even in my darkest moments (and 2008 held many). He speeches and appearances on television have left me awestruck and feeling a little closer to an equal tomorrow. Despite the sexism and skepticism thrown at her she was always able to have a good laugh and keep her head held high. She had nothing to fear and proved she was willing to take it to the end regardless of hurdles in her path. I salute her and her entire family for forging  ahead once again even when the media at large were against them. She has been so gracious and grateful to her supporters every step of the way. I know that nothing but greatness will come from her in the future.


4.       Drew Barrymore: ( ) Okay, I have loved Drew since E.T. came out and I saw it in theatres. She has always been my fave celebrity, mostly because she doesn’t really act like one. Though most know her strictly from her films, on 03/03/2008 she appeared on Oprah to present a check for one million dollars to the World Food Program ( ) and inspired me to give as much as I could and I did! She has continued to support the WFP and doing so brought a fresh face to a long and hard battle against hunger. Thank you Drew!


5.       Lisa Ling: ( ) Through her coverage in China on and marijuana (among other topics) on National Geographic: Explorer, Lisa Ling has continued to surprise and inspire me through her investigative journalism. I don’t have a lot to say other than just, “WOW! Lisa, you Rock!” and…”Thank You!”


6.       Ellen Degeneres: ( ) I have loved Ellen Degeneres  for ages! I loved her first sitcom, “Ellen” and her second one! I loved her daytime talk show (and probably still would, but I try not to watch daytime TV-worst commercials ever!) and am so pleased that she has been able to bring to light many issues middle America would not otherwise hear about.  In August 2008 she married Portia Di Rossi and has been outspoken on the subject of gay marriage in California and anti-proposition 8. Keep on talkin’ Ellen! Everyone’s listening!

kate-harding marrianne-kirby

7.       Kate Harding & Marrianne Kirby: ( & ). Yep, you guessed it, my two favorite bloggers! Kate Harding is a Chicago based writer and blogger and just fabulous, too! Marriane Kirby is a Florida based writer/editor and blogger, too.  These two great minds and fantastic women have collaborated to give us a book, “Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere: Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce with Your Body”  that I know will be filled with pure awesome and will be released in May of this year, but you can pre-order it now ( ). They are both passionate about getting to the truth about fat. Making the use of the word fat not a taboo and generally keeping me in the loop of the fat-o-sphere! Fat acceptance, it’s what they’re about and they have individually inspired me and made me feel better about myself and helped me speak up and out about my life and lifestyle in a positive way. Thank you ladies!


8.       Melissa McEwan: ( ) My daily dose of truth, humor, wisdom, news, feminism, LGBT issues, and the daily Kitteh! The shakespearessister blog is a collaborative effort of many, but I feel (and I know others will agree) that Melissa is the glue that keeps it all together. Her flavor, if you will, keeps me coming back for more. She was the sane in the sea of insanity that was this last election year. Plus, she made me realize how powerful a teaspoon can be!


9.       Diablo Cody: ( ) Diablo Cody is pure awesome incarnate! I just finished reading her first book “Candy Girl” and loved every minute of it. You know the movie Juno? Well, I think that is just how she talks, which is RAD! I love Juno (it’s the only film on my iPod) and was overjoyed when Diablo won the best screenplay Oscar! I mean, there just aren’t enough women in the biz and certainly none as smart/witty/cool as she! She has “The United States of Tara” debuting on Showtime soon and a badass blog, to boot!

Now I know what you’re thinking, “Really, 9 Women? You couldn’t think of just one more woman that inspired you in 2008? WTF?!” Well, of course not, I could go on for days on end…but that’s no fun! I want to know who I left off and why you think they belong on the list! Who inspired you in 2008???



posted under inspiration
2 Comments to

“The Art of Inspiration: Women who’ve inspired me in 2008”

  1. On January 6th, 2009 at 1:27 pm perry Says:

    This was a great entry. There were some (as your friend for so many years) I could name without seeing this list, but there were some that I never would have known because they are blogs that you read. You always talk about them, but now I have faces. Keep it up. These entries keep me intrigued.

  2. On January 6th, 2009 at 1:40 pm admin Says:

    Thank you! And thanks for commenting, too!
    Yeah, everyone knows how much I love Cyndi and Drew…but the blogs I read, you know they end up part of your daily routine and life and I really wanted to share them with the world, and you! <3

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