Comedian Kathy Griffin Brings Humor and Warnings of Misogyny and Homophobia to Rainbow Key Award

Kathy Griffin at the Rainbow Key Awards ceremony

Comedian-activist Kathy Griffin brought the house down with her jokes and witticisms Tuesday night during West Hollywood’s annual Rainbow Key Awards ceremony.

Ripping on current events, Griffin advocated for porn star Stormy Daniels to run for president, chanting “Stormy 2020,” while also suggesting that presidential daughter Ivanka Trump is so inept, she likely doesn’t know that “feckless” means inept and lacking character.

Griffin teased West Hollywood for its annual mayoral rotation, saying, “I love that you guys change your mayors out once a year. That’s so gay. Typical. I’m bored with him, get the hotter one.”

Noting that Oprah Winfrey endorsed Barack Obama early in his 2008 presidential run, she joked that America would have a much better president if they just gave the job of selecting the president to Oprah.

While Griffin left the approximately 100 people attending the ceremony roaring in the aisles during her ten-minute acceptance speech, she also got serious, warning that LGBTQ people must fight for their rights since Republicans are coming after those rights and lamenting that Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016, defeating Hillary Clinton.

“Our country is more misogynistic, in my opinion, than homophobic, and it’s quite homophobic,” Griffin said. “As much as I dream of the day a woman can be president, I’m finally dealing with the fact that a gay man will probably be president first.”

Griffin was one of six people being honored during the 25th annual Rainbow Keys, the prestigious award given by the City of West Hollywood to people who have made outstanding contributions to the LGBTQ community. Members of the City Council along with the city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board (LGAB) presented the awards.

Mayor John Duran welcomed attendees, inviting them to enjoy Pride month and all the events/activities being offered in the city.

Explaining the need to take an entire month to celebrate Pride, Duran said, “In 40 some years, we have gone from being criminals arrested for merely congregating in our nightclubs and our bars, we have taken on an epidemic that killed 500,000 of our men, we have battled the United States military who segregated the troops so LGBT people can serve and besides that, we actually can get married, and we have done all that in just 40 years, so hell yeah, we’re taking a whole month.”

Meanwhile, City Councilmember John D’Amico explained the importance of the Rainbow Key Awards.
“Receiving an award from your government, whether it’s something small like a two-square-mile city or the entire nation, has a certain significance,” said D’Amico. “It really is a reflection of our entire community, in this case, two-square miles, 35,000 people who believe in the hard work of all the honorees.”

Also receiving Rainbow Keys were:

Brian Pendleton

Brian Pendleton, the man who conceived last year’s #ResistMarch, is a longtime activist and philanthropist who has helped raise over $1 billion for charities. In his acceptance speech, Pendleton talked about being teased in school for being gay, as well as his addiction to crystal methamphetamines. Now 22 years clean and sober, he advised people to be politically active and to reach out to their Republican and conservative relatives to forge understanding.

Matt Palazzolo’s brother Mike, left, and father Pat.

Matt Palazzolo, an actor and an activist who died in January while hiking in Australia, was the co-founder of Equal Roots, a grassroots LGBTQ youth activist group, and longtime member of the city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board. Following a screening of a short reel of Matt’s acting clips (which left many tears in people’s eyes), his father, Pat Palazzolo, and brother, Mike Palazzolo, accepted the award, saying that LGBT activism provided great meaning to Matt’s life.

Rudy Akbarian

Rudy Akbarian, an openly transgender member of the U.S. Army who serves as a mentor for other transgender military members. In his speech, Akbarian discussed the importance of mental health for everyone, but especially for transgender people.

Elizabeth Savage

Elizabeth Savage, a longtime LGBTQ activist, who retired in November after working 22 years with the City of West Hollywood. Savage, a fierce advocate for affording housing and aging in place, was known for working 12-plus hour days (she said she was “happy doing this work”), and joked that she now has time to take long walks as well as read for pleasure. In her speech, Savage advocated for establishing broad coalitions to work to preserve and advance LGBTQ rights and also paid tribute to the city’s dedication to fighting for those rights.

Transvisible
Bamby Salcedo

Bamby Salcedo, a transgender activist who founded the TransLatin@Coalition dedicated to helping transgender Latino people. Salcedo came to America from Guadalajara, Mexico, and is now a nationally recognized speaker. Although she was unable to attend due to illness, her friend Erica de la Cruz read a letter from Salcedo talking about her activism, which has focused on the HIV, migration, incarceration, youth and the transgender communities.


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PoliticalSciemce
Guest
PoliticalSciemce

What happened to America? In the 60’s , 70’s and 80’s we had fun with Vulgarity. If you are offended or annoyed with any Vulgarisms then you are offended by your own life and bored… Your mad at yourself for not being able to live a life of liberalism. Your mad at yourself for letting the norm take your life away from you. You breeded, you got boring , you got old. Now you want to punish everyone that didn’t follow your foot steps which is what you were told was the “American norm”. I feel sorry for you. Unfortunately… Read more »

enemyofthestate
Guest
enemyofthestate

We live in the Age of Vulgarity. Griffin is vulgar.

Brad
Guest
Brad

Your president that you elected is 1000% more “vulgar” than Kathy! Anything that is said against a progressive LGBT supporter is vulgar in my eyes. If it wasn’t for people like Kathy we wouldn’t be where we are in the LGBTQ community. If you don’t like it move to another area. We don’t give two rats butts (a**) about your conservative thoughts…

jimmy palmieri
Guest
jimmy palmieri

I loved the awards this year. Kathy slayed. Matt’s spirit was felt. all of the other honorees greatly deserved the honor. So glad I was able to attend.

Josh Kurpies
Guest
Josh Kurpies

Congrats to the honorees and kudos to the members of the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board and city staff that organized the event and participated in the honoree selection process. Each of the honorees were truly worthy of this prestigious recognition and I am proud to have been in attendance to show our community’s appreciation for their work. Last night’s ceremony from start to finish was one of the best Rainbow Key Awards Ceremonies I’ve attended. Bravo!

TOO MANY AWARDS
Guest
TOO MANY AWARDS

These awards have become so numerous as to be nearly meaningless especially when fine folks that are truly deserving are overlooked or included with expedient types. It’s hard to know what the selection process might be. The result unfortunately does not carry the value one would hope. Additionally, the proliferation of comedy at political expense is getting old fast…….it denigrates the level of all concerned and represents hopelessness.

Cy Husain
Guest

The Rainbow Key Award did an excellent job in recognizing some truly great people and their efforts in raising awareness to many serious Social Justice issues at a time when they are under a well organized and funded attack! ✊🏽

Steve
Guest
Steve

Can West Hollywood eventually give an award to someone who actually deserves it?

JJ
Guest
JJ

YES! Right on!

Bye Felicia
Guest
Bye Felicia

All these #russiantrolls on WEHOville are getting annoying.

MJJ
Guest
MJJ

Haven’t seen such paranoia about Russians hiding under the bed since the 1950’s Red Scare.

Cy Husain
Guest

A legitimate concern, even considering that western capitalists started the problem in the first place!

MJJ
Guest
MJJ

West Hollywood seems to be run by children these days. I’m surprised they didn’t award Ed Buck this year.

PoliticalSciemce
Guest
PoliticalSciemce

Yes they already did thanks ! No Donald Trump didn’t make our list..

Cy Husain
Guest

But you do know whose award list Trump did make? Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke is calling Donald Trump’s electoral victory “one of the most exciting nights of my life.”

David Duke: Trump win a great victory for ‘our people’

MJJ
Guest
MJJ

It wasn’t one of the most exciting nights of MY life, but I sure felt relieved when my b.f. came walking in late that night and told me Trump was President.

Cy Husain
Guest

No big deal, you only stand to lose any and all Civil Rights protections!
https://www.aclu.org/legislation-affecting-lgbt-rights-across-country

J SIMMONS
Guest
J SIMMONS

Glad to have Kathy back. She was over-shamed and shouldn’t have left in the first place. LUV 4 KATHY GRIFFIN

MJJ
Guest
MJJ

Unfortunately Griffin just made such a dope of herself with the unnecessary criticism of Ivanka Trump’s statement on Kate Spade’s suicide. And it was a reference to Samantha Bee insulting Ivanka with the c-nt word. “C-nt” as an insult for a woman ? A woman’s private parts ? Kathy Griffin seems to be guilty of some misogyny herself.

Cy Husain
Guest

You might want to actually read the criticisms of Ivanka Trump’s statement on Kate Spade’s suicide, you might find them to be quite relevant! In-spite of some _”nice words”_ like just like _”thoughts and prayers”_ after a school shooting, Trump’s 2019 budget drastically slashes Mental Health and Substance Abuse programs when nearly Medical Experts in the area believe these programs need expanding!
How Trump’s Budget Will Affect People with Mental Health Conditions

MJJ
Guest
MJJ

Whether or not the President’s budget plans are wise or not doesn’t negate anything about Griffin’s ironic misogyny here. Using “c-nt” as an insult is as repulsive as (to be fair) using “dick” or “dickhead” for males. But even the “d” words don’t seem to have the anti-male ferocity that c-nt has for females. I don’t think she should be driven out of the business, though, and I know she’s a comedian, but she does make some awfully stupid moves (like letting that photographer- Tyler Shields? I think- talk her into that ISIS style beheading shot).

J SIMMONS
Guest
J SIMMONS

But we live in a Free Country with freedom of expression. She can say whatever she wants. If offended, Don’t go to her act. Having government decided what can and can’t be said is SCARY.

JJ
Guest
JJ

And in a free country, society has the freedom to react to someone’s vile words in a way that they want. In Kathy’s case, her career has suffered. If it’s worth it to her..power on. But society has spoken and posing with a president’s severed head is beyond what society deems acceptable. Same with Ms. Bee’s “comedy” routine. Freedom works both ways.

miles R
Guest
miles R

umm..she just sold out Carnegie Hall…yup.

Cy Husain
Guest

Griffin’s ironic misogyny? Do you need me to post links to the endless supply of Trump’s misogyny? In Trump’s case it’s far more significant given the Public Policy implications!

MJJ
Guest
MJJ

After we list incidents of misogyny in Saudi Arabia. That has about as much relevance to Griffin’s statement as anything regarding Trump.

Cy Husain
Guest

Though I am NOT endorsing any foreign misogyny or homophobia it does NOT have the relevance to U.S. Public policy as does Trump’s misogyny or homophobia! Trump promised to be LGBTQ-friendly. His first year in office proved it was a giant con. From Trump’s ban on transgender military service to his failure to acknowledge Pride Month, his administration now has a long anti-LGBTQ record. Trump administration dismantles LGBT-friendly policies Despite Trump’s promise to defend LGBT rights, his health agency has blocked efforts to combat discrimination. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/19/trump-lgbt-rights-discrimination-353774 Trump’s record of action against transgender people https://transequality.org/the-discrimination-administration Trump administration amasses striking anti-LGBT record… Read more »

MJJ
Guest
MJJ

Are you posting in the right place ? What do any of those Trump links have to do with an opinion that Griffin’s referencing a female organ as an intended insult is misogynist, and ironic because she’s supposedly against misogyny.

Cy Husain
Guest

More like are YOU posting in the right place and, did YOU even READ the article? As the links support and the article referenced this current administration’s role in promoting very homophobic, transphobic and misogynist policy. YOUR efforts to represent Kathy Griffin as misogynist are completely unsupported and, have every appearance of being a diversionary tactic.

MJJ
Guest
MJJ

There’s nothing important enough in this Griffin comedian topic to merit a “diversionary tactic.” You’re just disagreeing with me when I say calling someone a “c-nt” is misogynist at its core.

Cy Husain
Guest

Important enough to attract the attention of right-wing internet trolls in support of misogynist public policy pushed by the current administration! 🙂

Brad
Guest
Brad

Good for Kathy. Doesn’t matter what all the BS you say “above”. The WEHO liberals will always be here. Stop trying to gentrify the gay community to Bev Hills , then say you support them while we are getting calls about “ to many bars” in the area..

JJ
Guest
JJ

Not interested.