Where Are They Now: Sophie B. Hawkins


By Dustin Fitzharris

How do you think he's fairing on LGBT issues?
I don't know. Is he there? I mean, is there any great thing that I've missed? I don't think he's any more compassionate or loving than anyone else who has been out there.

You campaigned hard for Hillary Clinton. You even changed your song "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" to "Damn I Wish You Were President." Do you think things would be better if Hillary had won?
I think it all happened the way it was supposed to happen. If Hillary would've been president, she would have been capable of doing a good job, but because she's Hillary and because of the situation she would've been walking into -- which Obama, of course, walked into -- she really would've been drawn and quartered. At least he had the support and the money and the backing. With Hillary, even if she had done a better job, they would've found every mistake and amplified it a million times more. So I don't think she would've been allowed to do a better job. Maybe her time will come. Maybe it won't.

You are very outspoken on your blog. On August 16, you wrote: "And of course, the brutality of white people is well documented. Muslims, Jews, Christians, too. But the irony is, we are 99% the same. We share cultures, we share ideas, we share toilets, and we share this world.' Where do you stand on the debate of the right to build an Islamic community center at Ground Zero?
You know, I really haven't taken any kind of emotional stand yet. I don't feel -- I don't -- I'm going to say it, I don't feel that people are racist for not wanting it. I don't feel it's about being racist. I feel that certain Americans want to stop bending over backward to prove that they're not racist. Now I don't live down in that area, so I don't know how I'd feel. I don't feel it would be a breeding ground for terrorists. I really don't. It is too much, too soon, but I also feel it is a good argument because we are talking about it.

With the hard stuff out of the way, let's talk about your son, Dashiell. How has motherhood changed you?
I had this moment when I was kissing my dogs goodbye [before giving birth] where I said, 'I'm really afraid.' The one thing I always remember my mother saying, 'A child could be Einstein. A child could be Martin Luther King. A child could be Osama bin Laden.' The minute he came out, I was laughing and crying. He was so full of light. I was like, 'He's like Moses!' I didn't think he was Moses, but I thought, 'This is what the Bible is about.' I get why people are religious.

You had a very difficult childhood, without rules and structure. You once described your house as the 'den of iniquity.' What kind of mother are you?
I've been told I'm actually a good mother. Structure I'm really good at. Growing up the way I did I taught myself structure. It was a really hard lesson. I started at 14 teaching myself. I guess I'm really consistent, nurturing, and probably a bit eccentric, but a fun person to be around.

If you had had the chance to speak to those teens who have committed suicide because they were bullied for being gay or different, what would you have said?
The one thing that every person needs is one person to connect to who they really respect. It doesn't have to be a superhero, but just someone. I had Gordy. I left my family emotionally and even physically and had my African drum teacher, Gordy. Before I met Gordy, I was just a drug addict. I was going down a really dangerous path. I would like to be that person who would just listen. They need to get off the Internet. The Internet is killing a lot of these kids. It's like you find an identity on the Internet and then it's destroyed. That's even worse than never having had it. People need to get away from the Internet and ask themselves, 'What will be important to me for the rest of my life?' Then seek out that teacher or mentor. What do you really want to be? Who do you think you are? Then say that to the world. Say that to one person. Believe me, out of that circle of bullies, somebody will listen to you. If you can save one person's heart, you can save their whole life.

Let's say it's 1992 again, when your debut album was released. If you had to do it all over again, is there anything you would change?
Oh, yes, so many things. Not about the album or my fans, who I love so much. What I would change is really to find someone who understood my talent and would've gone into Sony and said, 'Listen, you motherfuckers, stop messing with her head. Let her be who she is and let her take off.' I should've been in therapy, but I would've picked the wrong therapist. I should've been praying to God that I could find one supportive person who would help me to love myself. It was the self-hatred that got in my way and took me down. Why was I so goddamned concerned about everything that was wrong with me? I wish I had enough self-love to keep going with self-respect.

To learn more about Sophie B. Hawkins, visit her official website.

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Tags: Out100 2010