Thankful For

Thankful For

Made For History fundraiser for New York Fashion Week!  

Hi there, I'm Kristen and I founded Babes For Hillary in April during the week following the New York Democratic Primary. I would like to take a moment to talk a little about this year and give thanks to the people who made it special. It was an amazing time to be a Hillary supporter. Here in New York City, I had seen Hillary during multiple occasions: The "I'm With Her" concert at Radio City Music Hall with Elton John and Katy Perry, the LGBT For Hillary fundraiser in Chinatown, the Apollo Theater rally kicking off the New York leg of the race, I stood behind her at the Women For Hillary rally at the Hilton, and attended her New York Victory Party on the evening of April 19! WHEW, and this was only April. There was still so much to do. While so much happiness and love surrounded me, there was also a lot of conflict. The months during the Democratic Primary blatantly mocked feminism in the name of Bernie Sanders, who is the king of mansplaining (thank you for giving us that term Elizabeth Warren), and who didn't concede to our nominee in a timely manor. Here, we had a woman who earned millions of more votes, with all of the experience and world relationships, yet this old white man from Vermont who protects the NRA was holding out on a concession to her. This divide that Bernie created not only came between us as liberals but ultimately gave us Donald Trump. I will never forget what Bernie's campaign did to humiliate and alienate the Hillary voters in 2016. The way Bernie Sanders publicly degraded Hillary, and ultimately women, ignited something inside of me that had been asleep during the last eight years. That fire was activism. I was fighting for something. I am thankful for the fire.

Hillary Clinton in Newark, New Jersey. Photo by Kristen Blush.

First of all, and the very obvious reason why we are all reading this, is that I am very thankful for this time we had with Hillary in 2016. She and her family visited our states, and my state of New York frequently. With many of you, I attended her rallies and donated to fundraisers in order to see her again. Being in her presence gave me so much hope and joy. She ran her presidential platform on love and unity (#LoveTrumpsHate #StrongerTogether) which is undeniably the exact message we wish to teach our children. Watching Hillary take on the patriarchy while winning the popular vote by millions was remarkable. Hillary won all three Presidential debates with ease and showed how Presidential she really is. Her intelligence and grace wowed us, and I am forever thankful for her.

Deb Keelen in Newark, NJ prior to seeing Hillary Clinton with Senator Cory Booker and Jon Bon Jovi. Photo by Kristen Blush.

I am Thankful for my mom, Deb. She experienced something similar to what I experienced during this 2016 election year. She was bullied online, she did endless hours of phone banking (not only for Hillary but for the Democrats of New Jersey), she waited hours to see Hillary on multiple occasions, she was alienated from her Trump supporting family, but most importantly she felt ready to demonstrate feminism. My mom was president of her Student Council in 1972. She fought for her and her classmates right to wear jeans to school, and WON! She raised two feminist daughters and moved across the country three times. I am so deeply thankful for her raising me with an open heart and mind and to fight for what I believe in.

I am Thankful for President Barack Obama. He and our First Lady, Michelle, came out very strong for Hillary during the general election. I suspect they both would have had positions in Hillary's cabinet, which would have been such a gift to our country. I am thankful that Michelle got involved with United State of Women and shared her voice in that respect. Her messages of love and taking the high road were truly a highlight for me this year and I am also very thankful for our first family. President Obama restored my hope and patriotism in being an American. What an amazing eight years- the Obama's will be deeply missed.

I am thankful for the Babes For Hillary. While the Babes' was something I organized, I didn't exactly know where it would take me. I purchased the URL and created an Instagram feed, had a logo created by a dear friend, and reached out to some amazing feminists here in NYC to attend our first meet-up. Our first meet up was really good! So we organized another, and than another. My vision was to organize a Girl-Power, yet all gender inclusive (because progress) local group that could meet up in a safe environment to discus our love and devotion to Hillary. We met multiple times, made multiple one of a kind posters, and in a few months time and grew into a national stage for other feminists who wanted to be a part of our Hillary fan club. I am so grateful for the men and women who joined our message, purchased our pins and patches, and shared their awesome stories on our blog! Some major highlights for me this year was marching with the Babes for Hillary and HFA (Hillary For America) at New York City PRIDE, when we attended a speech by Cory Booker on a midtown rooftop, when we canvassed in Pennsylvania, and our final meet up prior to Election Day with the women at Home/Made in Red Hook Brooklyn. I also made an effort to meet two Hillary supporters while on trips outside of New York this year. Carissa in Seattle while traveling for work, and Anna in New Orleans where I was on a real vacation! These women became ultimate Babes when joining our family and I cherish the time I had with them. A million times thank you to the Babes For Hillary in 2016!  

I am thankful for Katy Perry. She really does deserve her own section in my Thanksgiving message. Not only has Katy been my favorite musical performer for as long as I can remember, (and yes I sobbed during her documentary- RUSSELL YOU ASSHOLE!), but she really found her voice this year. She stood by Hillary from before the beginning, and delivered her message of love to millions. We will never know where Katy's influence ends...a ripple effect of love. When I saw her for my Birthday 3 years ago, (and yes I sobbed a few times because she radiates), she spent a lot of time during her show talking to the children. She thanked them and encouraged them to treat each other with love and kindness. She truly understands the strength that children have...and maybe that is what she saw in Hillary.

I am thankful for Jennifer McCann. This day was one of the best days of my life and this one wasn't far off from that, either. Thank you, Jennifer. Thank you for introducing me to your amazing Hillary world. 

Photo-op at NYC PRIDE Parade with the Hillary Happy Hours crew!  Photo by Kristen Blush.

Ray and Lee enjoying a fun afternoon in Brooklyn at a grassroots fundraiser for Hillary! Photo by Kristen Blush.

I am thankful for my Sister Shannon who took me to Washington DC to visit monuments and pose for photos with my Hillary action figure. Our room was upgraded and we spent three days at our Nations Capitol. We love the National Portrait Gallery where I purchased a Hillary coffee table book by photographer Diana Walker. We ate beautiful food and saw the White House. Thank you, Shannon!

I am thankful for Ray and Lee our youngest Babes For Hillary members who have taught me to enjoy children more. Getting to know them is a very meaningful time for me and their mom Ella is a huge inspiration to me and has become one of my best friends during all of this. 

I am thankful for Hannah Trimble for creating our beautiful logo.

I am thankful for my partner Stefan for being here for me during this election year.

I am thankful for my online friends who helped me tremendously during the primaries as well as the current state of America. THANK YOU! And please have a beautiful Thanksgiving. 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

A Place of Love & Rebellion

A Place of Love & Rebellion

A Q&A With Babes For Hillary!

A Q&A With Babes For Hillary!