She first came to public attention when NBC announced that she was gay. She had been married to Marc Alan Leibole for three years before she fell in love with a woman, and came out to her husband and to her father. She was subsequently featured on the cover of The Advocate. In 2003, she was one of the first prominent, openly lesbian campaigners for her father's bid for the president of the United States. Gephardt identifies as a Christian.
Gephardt worked on her father's political campaigns as a child in St. Louis, Missouri. She later became a social worker after graduating from Northwestern University. In her practice as a social worker, she helped abused and mentally ill women in Washington, D.C. She married Marc Alan Leibole in 1997, a man she later called "my best friend," according to the Los Angeles Times. In the early 2000s, she attended Washington University, where she met Amy Loder,
Gephardt came out to her family as a lesbian in April 2001. She had fallen in love with another woman, Loder, while in graduate school at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work.[June 30, 2003 1] In 2003, Gephardt quit her job as a social worker to campaign for her father full-time. According to the Knight Ridder Tribune, Gephardt is the first prominent LGBT relative to promote a major political campaign in the United States. Out magazine called her inclusion "a sea change in presidential campaigns: Not only are gay family members no longer considered a potential liability (see Mary Cheney), we are in fact a coveted constituency worth fighting for." In 2004, she helped start up chapters of the Stonewall Democrats in Washington, D.C.
She appeared on the Showtime reality show American Candidate in 2004. Gephardt said that the "show is giving me opportunities to express myself. I wanted to inspire gays and lesbians, women and other minority groups, and basically everybody who gets left out of the process." She also appeared on the February 1, 2007 (episode #1030), episode of The Daily Show. She is interviewed in the 2007 documentary For the Bible Tells Me So, along with her parents, where she describes her life and the encouragement she received from her parents after coming out. The film's director, Daniel Karslake, wanted to feature the Gephardts because her "family really espouses the values of loving your children no matter what," according to Curve. Gephardt was also featured on a cover of Curve in 2007.
- Brozan, Nadine (1997-06-11). "CHRONICLE". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
- Barrett, Jon (8 July 2003). "Father-Daughter Alliance: Chrissy Gephardt Comes out to Help Get Her Dad, Rep. Dick Gephardt, Elected President. Can She Make Him More Pro-Gay Than He Already Is?". The Advocate. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via Google Books.
- Stevens, Frances (November 2007). "Chicks in charge: lesbians often seem to start businesses by first thinking about the greater good. I think we may have mastered the "do what you love and money will follow" credo". Curve. Archived from the original on 2018-07-29. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via HighBeam Research.
- Swarns, Rachel L. (2003-11-01). "Daughter Spurs Shift in Gephardt's View on Gays". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
- MacGregor, Hilary E. (2004-01-16). "Children's crusade". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
- "WEDDINGS; Christine Gephardt And Marc Leibole". The New York Times. 1997-09-21. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
- "Gephardt's Gay Daughter". The Advocate. 10 June 2003. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
- Neuman, Johanna (2003-06-07). "Gephardt raises the stakes for gay voters". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
- Shesgreen, Deirdre (16 June 2003). "Gephardt's gay daughter will be in campaign spotlight". Knight Ridder Tribune. Archived from the original on 2017-10-31. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via HighBeam Research.
- "Out 100 Politics+Community". Out. 12 (6). December 2003.
- Wilgoren, Jodi (2004-04-18). "Political Points". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
- Gerhart, Ann (31 July 2004). "'American Candidate': A Vote With the Remote". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
- "I Want to Be Elected". The Advocate. 20 July 2004. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
- "Chrissy Gephardt - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart | Comedy Central". Comedy Central. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
- Welker, DeAnn (30 November 2007). "'For the Bible Tells Me So': Literal 'Abomination'". The Oregonian. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
- Seitz, Matt Zoller (2007-10-05). "For the Bible Tells Me So - Movie - Review". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
- Hammidi, Tania (November 2007). "You gotta have faith: congressional daughter Chrissy Gephardt tackles politics and religion and lives to tell the tale". Curve. Archived from the original on 2018-10-06. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via HighBeam Research.
- Shesgreen, Deidre. "GEPHARDT'S GAY DAUGHTER STEPS INTO CAMPAIGN SPOTLIGHT". South Florida Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 1 September 2019.