Anyway, last night IBM sent us up to the IGLHRC "A Celebration of Courage" reception at the Clift Hotel in San Francisco.
There was a smidge of disjointedness in attending a reception at one of the most luxurious and trendy hotels in San Francisco for a group that does most of its work in the trenches, helping people who really are oppressed because of their sexual or gender identity. There was an odd mix of somberness and celebration, but I expect that's the nature of this event.
Jewelle Gomez performed admirably as event MC. The woman is funny and thoughtful.
The purpose of the reception was to recognize the winner of IGLHRC's "Felipa de Souza Award" for courage and activism by grassroots groups and individuals working for the fundamental human rights of all people. This year's award went to the Blue Diamond Society of Nepal. The award was accepted by BDS director Sunil Pant.
If you've been watching the news, Nepal has been undergoing some serious political upheval. A seriously corrupt and oppressive monarchy fell to a popular (if somewhat conflicted) movement, and, deciding it had nothing to lose and everything to gain, Blue Diamond Society has been at the forefront of that movement. Now a significant player in the efforts to draft a new constitution, BDS still faces threats from anti-gay royalist and maoist political parties. It's exciting, but it's kind of scary.
After the reception, we had an hour to kill before heading back to the train station, so we had some appetizers at Asia de Cuba, an absolutely amazing Latin-Asian fusion restaurant in the Clift. Must get back there for dinner some time.