Despite threats of secession from Texas Governor Rick Perry, the Lone Star State was still connected to the mainland when I visited San Antonio to speak to the Equality Texas folks. I called down the ghosts of Ann Richards and Molly Ivins to protect me on my journey. They showed me a really good time.
The co-chair of the brunch event, Barbara del Amo met me at baggage claim with a big smile and a big purple sign that read K8. She took me out to the curb where Tex, her partner of 28 years was waiting. Since I'd been delayed in Dallas - I was detained for not wearing teabags as accessories - we went almost immediately to a donor reception at the lovely Gallery Vetro on the Riverwalk in San Antonio. I chatted with lots of wonderful, big spirited Texans who have been legislating, organizing and partying for equal rights in Texas for years. I tried not to knock over any of the gorgeous hand-blown glass creations as I schmoozed.
A couple of the women I spoke to apologized for leaving early to go to another event in town. When I heard where they were going, I got Barbara and Tex to take me there after the reception.
For years Graciela Sancehz has been trying to get my partner Urvashi and me to come visit the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center that she founded. That evening they were honoring the work of Gloria Anzaldua, a writer and cultural theorist who died five years ago. I was thrilled to be able to finally attend. In a magnificent, colorful converted former car showroom, the Center was jammed with people milling around the visual art exhibit El Mundo Zurdo, a celebration of borderlands, sexuality, spirituality and queer identity. Graciela introduced me to her family, friends and proudly showed me around. Next time you're in San Antonio, make sure you stop by.
The Equality Texas brunch the next day in the gorgeous converted train station was another festive-serious fundraiser for all the work that Paul Scott, executive director and his organization are doing for LGBT equality in Texas. Keith Price, a native Texan and XM radio personality, and I mean personality, emceed the event. I met everyone from elected officials, judges, major donors to the newly formed LGBT student group at a local Catholic! College. You really haven't lived until you've experienced Tex run an auction with Keith Price.
If you visit San Antonio, don't forget to see both cities. There is the gorgeous one you see above ground, but then there's a whole lovely river city below street level. Three women, Kim, Judith and Denise were kind enough to take me on boat cruise of the two and a half mile river cruise through the city, even though Denise, a facebook friend from way back, had horrible allergies and was in tears most of the ride. After, they took me out of town for "authentic Mexican cuisine" at Los Barrios. Now when someone says "authentic Mexican cuisine" I get frightened because too often I've been served a gringo version - a large brown puddle of lumpen something. Los Barrios was the real deal.
Barbara and Tex took me to the airport at an ungodly hour on Monday morning and I spent the day flying and changing planes until I got to Provincetown - just in time for the lilacs and lilies of the valley. Ahhhhh.