Politics & Policy

Hickenlooper Bombshell: ‘Backwards Thinking in Rural, Western Areas’

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper was interviewed by Eden Lane on the establishment of the Matthew Shepard Foundation offices in Denver, Colorado late in 2009:

OUTSpoken will be a series of prime time specials, perhaps on a quarterly basis, allowing time to respond to viewer interests, ideas and needs, Lane explained. “The time slot demonstrates the ongoing commitment KBDI (Colorado Public Television) has for LGBT community voices and is a rare step for a mainstream media outlet.”

Here is a transcript of the exchange:

Eden Lane: For the Matthew Shepard foundation to choose Denver to have as it’s home, I think that might surprise some people since they didn’t live in Colorado, he didn’t go to school in Colorado, there really wasn’t that strong a connection. What do you think is it about the environment here in Denver that allowed them to choose this as their home?

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper: I think a couple things, I mean, you know, the tragic death of Matthew Shepard occurred in Wyoming. Colorado and Wyoming are very similar. We have some of the same, you know, backwards thinking in the kind of rural Western areas you see in, you know, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico.

The host, Eden Lane, is a transgendered journalist based in Denver:

Eden Lane is a unique figure in the world of television journalism. Eden broke ground during the 2008 Democratic National Convention as the first transgender broadcast journalist to cover a major political event for Denver’s PBS affiliate, and as a stringer for CBS News on Logo.

Eden is currently the host of Colorado’s popular PBS affiliate television show, InFocus. Eden is also the host of OUTSpoken, a prime time special series devoted to the LGBT community that’s now celebrating its 20th year.

Eden is more than just an on-air host for two popular local television shows – she’s also a mother, a wife, a proud resident of Colorado, and a pioneer for transgender people everywhere. Eden’s upcoming memoir captures her amazing journey from Broadway performer to suburban housewife to television star and community spokesperson.

Full video:

Hickenlooper, in a separate video, lamented the lack of crowds at his appearances around the state:

“And I think the initiative process, if nothing else, does get people invested. It turns some people off but it does get some people invested. And that’s part of, I think, what we all need to do. How come there’s not 200 people in this room? Right? You’ve got the mayor of Denver who’s running for governor; be the first, I don’t know if the first ever, but certainly the first mayor of Denver who’d be elected governor of Colorado in 75 or 100 years. No one’s . . . You know, I go around the state and I don’t get huge crowds wanting [to] take apart what I said, or challenge me on various issues. There’s a certain nonchalance that people kind of . . . ‘Ah, that’s government, we don’t really have to worry about it.’ You know, it’s not, it’s not what we need.”

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