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11.13.2008

By Barry Walters

Labelle must've been a magnet for gay people who wanted to work with you. Was that uncomfortable when it started?
How could it be uncomfortable? I mean, I love people. And it doesn't matter what you are, who you are, what you do, what you don't do, how much you have and how much you don't have. If you have a pure heart, you can come into my life as a frog, I don't care, as long as you're for real.

Well, people who've grown up with the church are sometimes uncomfortable with gays.
That's their problem. You know what I do every day? I pray for the church. Because I don't think God will want it this way, all of this ugly stuff. Just like the whole thing with gay marriage. Denying people to just do what they wanna do. Everybody has to be free to be themselves. So the church has a problem. And I feel bad about that.

Out here in San Francisco where I live, it's been a time of mixed emotions. On one hand, Obama's victory is such a major step. You know that more than I do. But at the same time, the majority of Californian voters decided in favor of taking rights away from a specific group of people -- us.
At the same time we're having this historic moment happening. It's crazy. It's really sad.

And a sad thing that's come out in the polls is that many of the same African-Americans who voted for Obama and voted for change have voted against gay marriage.
It's twisted.

Your music speaks to people on both sides of that divide. How do you open people's minds?
You open their minds by being persistent, and staying strong and steady. Like Obama did through the name-calling and all the other things they did to him. He still remained steadfast. He still remained strong. And he got in the door. Gay people have to remain who they are. You can't give in to people who don't believe in' [Pauses] Oh God, equality. That's really what it is. You can't let them prevent you or stop you for fighting for it. I mean, Obama fought for the White House. He got it. So that's what I have to say.

That's very well put.
You're welcome. And I'm fighting with you.

What is Labelle planning for the future in terms of TV appearances and touring?
Well, we don't know if we're going to get the offers, but we're planning a tour.

What would you like to do ideally?
Just make sense of what we just did. We just did a CD. We want people to listen and buy it and request our presence. That's all.

Thank you very much, Patti.
Tell all my gay friends don't let anything stop 'em.

Okay.
Please.

Okay.
Okay, honey. Bye-bye.

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