Oh lordy, the heat! Still, yesterday evening I managed to get to the New York City Council chambers pretty sweat-free. And I was pretty shocked by how many people were in the room which made it hard for me to find a seat even as an honoree (as I recently mentioned the City Council was observing the 198th anniversary of the independence of Colombia).
Colombian singer Cabas was in the audience but left soon after he made some initial remarks. There were ten honorees and we were told to keep our speeches short.
Councilmember Hiram Monserrate (left) read each of the proclamations presented to the honorees and mine did not seem to leave much more to say about my life's work. I wondered how the crowd would react by the mention of my work in LGBT communities but people seemed to take it in stride. Good stuff!
In my speech I said the main reason for coming to the United States was the fear of not being able to live an open life in Colombia back then but that I was thrilled to see how much things had changed since then. I mentioned the recent Colombian Supreme Court ruling granting certain rights to same-sex couples and told the audience that perhaps the United States should follow Colombia's lead.
I finished by dedicating the honor to my mother for the sacrifices she made for her three sons when we moved to the United States - She will be retiring as a college professor upstate New York this year and heading back to Colombia next year. Applause. And that was that (well, there were other honorees and some even thanked their moms as well).
I felt bad for my friend William who sat down for the whole ceremony and probably understood little of what was said since it was conducted in Spanish. I was grateful for his offer to act as my photographer last night.
To celebrate we headed to that other big Colombian heritage tradition: Xanadu on Broadway! (at the very least I believe the original incarnation did boffo-business at the Colombian movie box-office even as it tanked in the United States).
Confession: I never saw the movie but if it's half as funny as the Broadway show, I'm there! (check the very gay-licious website).
After the show, William tried to get me to do some scandalous poses in front of the theater but I had to behave myself. After all I had my City Council proclamation in hand! I have to say that I loved Kerry Butler's voice and her tongue-in-cheek take on Olivia Newton-John's Australian accent. I did the usual pose with the show star photo after I noticed her leaving the theater (below).
The temperature had fallen down by night-fall (not by much though) but the humidity was way up. By the time I got home I was drenched in sweat so my sancocho soup warning was not too off the mark. Took a nice shower and went to bed.
All in all, a very nice evening. Thanks to readers who were kind enough to send congratulations through the blog reply section or in private.
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