Could Gerrie Schipske Be Long Beach's First LGBT Mayor?

The councilwoman stands on the cusp of making that title a reality. But getting there hasn't been easy

Perhaps you've been very careful, but it doesn't seem to have stopped you from doing very much. You mentioned being older, but it seems that, politically, you are accomplishing more than ever—in terms of constituent service to your district, in terms of this run for mayor.

I think I'm doing four times what somebody else would do, making sure I know every fact on an issue instead of winging it. People start appreciating that. They say, "She knows what she's talking about, she seems to do her homework, she's fair, and"—this part is very funny—"she's very liberal." I just laugh. I go, "Where did you get that?" It's not a bad thing, but I think the assumption is that if you're—well, a newspaper once called me the "liberal lesbian lawyer from Long Beach." [Laughs.] Like, if you're gay, you must be this way or that.

Fact remains, like everybody else, we're all different. Every community has a spectrum of people who are different—they're not all the same. That, for me, has been the hardest to get across to people. But I think I've successfully done that. . . .

I think that's why I've been re-elected in that district. People say, "Okay, you've told us about that. Now what about the issues? How can you get my sidewalk fixed? Are you going to make sure the budget is balanced?" That's where people's real lives are, for the most part. . . .

I've never made a point of taking my personal life and putting it in people's faces. Not that I've denied it. That may be a difference, too. The other thing I get—they haven't said it, but I feel it—is "If she's this open about who she is, we can trust her." I think that's important.

You said you knew you wanted to be in politics when you were a high-school senior. Did you have any idea that being lesbian might preclude that?

I didn't realize I was gay until I was about 21. I just had a bigger focus. Started out wanting to go to medical school and be a doctor, so that was my focus. Actually, when I was much younger, I was going to be a nun.

*     *     *

COMING OUT WITH DR. LAURA
OC WEEKLY
: Once you did realize who you are, you must have also been struck by the realization that whether or not and how much others knew could have consequences for [you] with family, friends—and you were working for the CIA! When you did come out, were there any issues with your parents?

GERRIE SCHIPSKE: Oh . . . yeah.

[She says this, but not convincingly—instead, with what seems to be concern about where answering this question fully might lead. But after this brief uncertainty, it's apparently resolved. She chuckles lightly as she begins.]

This is the weirdest story! I came back to California—from Washington, D.C., to Long Beach—alone. The first person I'd been with—we'd been together, oh, about six years—she'd gone off and gotten married; that happens a lot in the community. So I didn't know anybody. I was working for a city manager [of the city of Long Beach}, who I, to this day, adore; he's one of the most ethical men I've ever met. A lesbian came to visit the office one day—Jean Harris. She was very out and dramatic, she became a [gay and lesbian rights] leader and just died a couple of years ago. She came into the office, and she was trying to convert me—she did not know I was gay; I couldn't tell anybody. And after she left, I remember the city manager coming to me and saying, "You know, this is why we don't hire homosexuals—because once they get in, they want to bring all their friends."

[Schipske gives a pained chuckle.] And I'm just cringing, thinking, "My God, if he finds out, I'm going to lose my job!"

That scared me. [After work,] I would go home. I was deathly afraid. I never went to the bars. I'd never been in a gay bar because I was so deeply closeted in Washington, D.C.

So I turned on the radio one night—it was about midnight—and there was this person on KFWB, and it was this woman by the name of Laura Schlessinger. [She laughs a little again.] Good story for you! So, Laura Schlessinger seemed to me, on her show, went out of the way to appeal to gays and lesbians—about how you need to accept yourself, this is wonderful, yadda-yadda. She had a radio show then, but it wasn't the radio show she wound up having; this was really about talking to people—none of this right-wing stuff she got into later.

So I picked up the phone and called her office, made an appointment and went to see her as a therapist. And at the second meeting, she gave me a book about lesbian sex. [Schipske lets go a cackling laugh to indicate the ridiculousness of it.]

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25 comments
normru
normru

Gerrie, there's a huge pro marijuana vote in Long beach. Many remember ur stance on the dispensaries. If u lose 5-10% of that vote u lose the election. We all know u were leading the charge along w/Shannon. Yes u were part of the 8-1 vote but many of the others would have worked on a comprimise.

Look I know ur a highly intelligent person but many of the voters that were hurt by ur comments on the dispensary issue.. I believe this iis going to be a problem for u going forward. I really believe ur out of step with most voters in Long Beach on this.

deadjogger
deadjogger

The Naval Hospital referred to in the article is not the current Veteran's Administration Hospital near CSULB.  There used to be a Naval Hospital at the site of the current Long Beach Town Center site near the 605 and Carson.

James Rose
James Rose

Gerrie schipske is just like the rest of LB city council - lining their pockets with money. She also voted to shut down all medical marijuana dispensaries. The only thriving new businesses in long beach filling our vacant store fronts and bringing money into our city.

babybird8
babybird8

u go Gerrie Schipske, you have come a long way-don't stop now.

James Rose
James Rose

Only ugly people want to be politicians.

Oldschool Rocker
Oldschool Rocker

I don't mind a lesbian for Long Beach mayor, but why can't it be a hot lesbian? Why does it have to be a fat, bull-dikey, musty-pussy lookin' lesbo?

myming
myming

while no one is perfect, she comes close.

many fine achievements !

paullucas714
paullucas714

She has a lot of explaining to do to the LGBT community on why she chooses to be a tyrant in the area of medical marijuana.

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

I am not being racist or not being hatred here but frankly I don't care about the LGBT crowd because it's vile behavior and they can't have babies the natural way anyway and Sodom and Gammorah were destroyed over it, so there.

"If a man lies down with anothe man it is a vile thing". - So they know that they are wrong but continue in thier vile behaviors anyway. 

egschipske
egschipske

@deadjogger  Sorry the Naval Hospital was located at 7th which is now the Veterans Hospital. The Naval Hospital was moved from 7th to the Carson site and then later closed.

egschipske
egschipske

@James Rose  So Mr. Rose, have you ever looked at my campaign reports or my form 700? Prey tell how am I "lining my pockets?" Unlike my colleagues who took money from the med pot owners and then voted to close them, I did not.

Johnny_K
Johnny_K

@Oldschool RockerOne look at Oldschool Rocker's facebook photos and you evidently tell that he fucks fat, bull-dikey, musty-pussy lookin' bitches.

egschipske
egschipske

@paullucas714  Hmmm. This comment puzzles me since Vice Mayor Garcia actually made the motion that closed the med pot places down..and it was supported 8-1. I ain't that powerful Paul.

egschipske
egschipske

@tongue_twister_for_t  Never said anything about two women. In fact, Jesus never said anything about the entire topic. Guess he didn't think it was too bad.

SickSnail
SickSnail

@tongue_twister_for_t "I am not being racist or not being hatred here...."

No, but you are doing a great job of being ignorant. And I'm not even remotely referring to your opinion about homosexuality. "
I am not being racist"..... well, duh. There is no reference to race so congratulations. You are not being racist. "not being hatred"..... being hatred? WTF kind of grammar is that, you moron? As if people with your views didn't have a tough enough time towing that line, it will always be an impossible task when they have to drag idiots like you along.

aliberaltexan
aliberaltexan

tongue twister:  You are full of sh*t period.

MaherSawaf
MaherSawaf

Seriously you should try it, you won't regret it ;)

paullucas714
paullucas714

@egschipske 


Gerrie here is your response when I asked you about the comparrison between Liquor Stores and Tobacco Shops in relation to cannabis collectives;

Gerrie Schipske "Until marijuana is made legal and growing is strictly regulated there is no comparison with liquor stores and smoke shops. Go for it. I am out of office in 18 months."
4 minutes ago · Like

This comment was in a thread you and I had on your page some months ago. I find it shocking to be honest. By that logic, until Same Sex Marriage is legal at the federal level but it is legal in CA since the Federal Govt doesnt recognize the legality of cannabis in CA at the Federal Level but it is legal under state law. Am I wrong to thin that in this situation, just as it is with Same Sex Marriage, especially since medical marijuana was brought to  us in the search for compassion for AIDS patients, we should be counting on you to fight for the rights of Long Beach and CA residents to have unfettered access to medical marijauna? And to go even further; shouldnt we feel safe that an elected member of the LGBT community will stand by the rights of CA residents to get unfettered access to medical marijuana? And as  nurse, shouldnt you be a warrior for the rights of seriously ill patients get unfettered access to medical marijuana?

Who the heck are you Gerrie Schipskie? For reals man?

paullucas714
paullucas714

@egschipske@paullucas714 

Gerrie here is your response when I asked you about the comparison between Liquor Stores and Tobacco Shops in relation to cannabis collectives;

Gerrie Schipske "Until marijuana is made legal and growing is strictly regulated there is no comparison with liquor stores and smoke shops. Go for it. I am out of office in 18 months."
4 minutes ago · Like

This comment was in a thread you and I had on your page some months ago. I find it shocking to be honest. By that logic, until Same Sex Marriage is legal at the federal level but it is legal in CA since the Federal Govt doesnt recognize the legality of cannabis in CA at the Federal Level but it is legal under state law. Am I wrong to thin that in this situation, just as it is with Same Sex Marriage, especially since medical marijuana was brought to  us in the search for compassion for AIDS patients, we should be counting on you to fight for the rights of Long Beach and CA residents to have unfettered access to medical marijuana? And to go even further; shouldnt we feel safe that an elected member of the LGBT community will stand by the rights of CA residents to get unfettered access to medical marijuana? And as  nurse, shouldnt you be a warrior for the rights of seriously ill patients get unfettered access to medical marijuana?

Who the heck are you Gerrie Schipskie? For reals man?

paullucas714
paullucas714

@egschipske @paullucas714  

Gerrie, you have done everything in hour power to stymie, hinder harrass, and confound any semblance of a workable scheme to facilitate the obtai8ning of medical cannabis to ALL Patients in your city. That includes those too ill with HIV, AIDS, Cancer, Diabetes etc etc etc. This is especially troubling in light that you are a medical professional. 

Think of it as akin to Marriage equality. Apparently on the books, one can marry a member of the same gender. But at every turn, the states or Federal Govt are in the practice to stymie, hinder harass, and confound the ability of ALL individuals to exercise that right. 

You voted against the dispensaries and worked to shut them all down. Even if it was as slight as turning a blind eye to the civil rights violations and outright fraud conducted by the agents of the city who are under your purview, this is akin to "Silence equals consent". 

In a conversation you and I had, you lamented the perception that the clients of dispensaries are "Stoners" and the operators as "drug Dealers".  Have you  done anything to  facilitate the acquisition of medical marijuana for the community members who are "truly Ill" and In need of Cannabis"? This seems to tbe the mantra of the prohibitionists such as yourself as I always hear from  the plikes of you that you are so in favor and support of those who "truly need cannabis" to use it.

So now my question for you is this; Since youve chosen to throw the babies out with the provrebial bathwater; how the heck do you propose to demonstrate your support for the LGBT community by taking effective steps on behalf of the city in support of the LGBT community to get the medicine they need in their hands without fear of prosecution from the authorities in LB Uniforms or under the cross deputizing of the Federal Agencies you call in like some sort of Pontius Pilot to allow you to wash your hands of this great violation of our rights under state law?

Maybe we should Ask Mellisa Etheridge a cancer Survivor how she feels about supporting your campaign when you have such a horrible track record on the issue of Medicinal Cannabis?

Will you tell her like you told me "oh well, go for it Im termed out anyway". Do you remember telling me that? IN WRITING!!??


 
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