Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A major influence.

I might have seemed to disappear from blog world for a little.  It's because I've been working back at Apple in addition to Miss NY appearances, as well as doing a lot of photography.  Well I've got some stuff to tell you about!  Thursday, when I flew in from Syracuse, I had a few exciting things:  Meeting with a new initiative Friendfactor, dinner with David Mixner and the Marriage Equality New York (MENY) / Real Housewives of New York viewing party.

Let me start by telling you just a little about David.  If you do a simple wikipedia search, you'll see that David "is a civil rights activist and best-selling author. He is best known for his work in anti-war and gay rights advocacy." But if you sit down for a dinner or lunch with him has I have had the great honor to do, you'll see that he is a man of so much wisdom and experience, fight and survival, joy and compassion with a yearning to empower people to continue the work that he has done, that we are capable of and responsible for carrying forward.  Unbeknownst to me, I witnessed David for the first time at the National Equality March in DC 2 1/2 years ago.  He organized it.  Then he was at the Empire State Pride Agenda Fall Dinner where I was honored this year as Miss New York. He saw me then, and he believed in me.  And has a result has supported me ever since. But it wasn't until two weeks ago that I actually met David.

Upon our first meeting, he challenged me with such beautiful metaphors and imagery about being on the edge.  If you're on the edge, no one is in front of you, yet everyone is behind you.  If you're on the edge, you see the colors of the sunset clearly and beautifully -OR- you stay behind and the person who goes to the edge can tell you how wonderful the colors looked...but you'll never experience it [life] fully.

That's all for now, but I am enamored by David and as someone said to me later that night "You totally drank the Mixner Kool-Aid!"  Yes, I did.  And I'll continue as I seek mentorship from him and read his book Stranger Among Friends.  

Video Caption: Longtime LGBT activist David Mixner talks about how far we've come since the early days of the LGBT rights movement and the need to demand nothing short of full equality from our elected officials.

On marriage:  I am not asking for the right to marriage. I'm not waiting for someone to give it.  It is mine already from the Constitution.  And I am just stepping forward to claim it.  It is not theirs to give.

Well, speaking of marriage... Immediately after eating dinner with David that first time, I went to Therapy for the MENY Real Housewives of NY viewing party for the 7th Annual Wedding March which was highlighted in their episode.  So yes, it was fun -- you could catch a glimpse here and there of me at the march on the RHoNY show, but what a lot of people don't realize is that if you listen closely, their ridiculous bickering is all filmed with my speech in the background!  And yeah, Simon and Alex, who hosted the party, are cool and super nice.  But so were the great people I met that night including new friends from HousingWorks, Impact Red and my lovely Thomas Roberts once again. More to come on those orgs as well as Friendfactor.


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