bialogue (bialogue) wrote,

thoughts from Lani Ka’ahumanu: the 2011 White House LGBT Pride Reception - Getting there . . .

Lani Ka’ahumanu bisexual educator, organizer, strategist, author and co-founder of the San Francisco Bay Area Bisexual Network invited her old friend and colleague Kuwaza Imara to be her guest at the White House festivities and policy briefing on June 29th. Kuwaza is from Oakland CA and actively in the SEIU Lavender Caucus, Pride at Work, the AFL-CIO GLTB labor group and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.

LGBT Pride Month Policy Briefing -- Insights and commentary coming
Personal note: I will be writing my experience and insights at much greater length. I intended to today, but am choosing to go see an old friend and lover who lives in DC and who just finished her chemo therapy. Please do stay tuned and be assured that this little cab driver story is only the beginning of the grand adventure and I will tell all… Thanks for understanding, I appreciate it. xo

2011 White House LGBT Pride Reception: Getting there . . .
Kuwaza and I caught a cab at Dupont Circle. The White House was a short mile and a half ride from the SEIU Building where I’d changed clothes and picked up the two flower leis I had sent from Hawai’i. We had a quick stop at a Radio Shack beforehand as Kuwaza needed to purchase a chip for his camera. I waited in the cab with the driver who asked, “What is the celebration was about?”1994 Pride Parade grand marshal Lani Ka'ahamanu with her daughter. Photo: Rick Gerharter from The Bay Area Reporter

When I told him it was the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Reception he said “Oh that’s right, there‘s been a lot of gay things going on this month.”

Our conversation was relaxed, and sincere. When he inquired, “How does it work?” I understood what he meant - how does it work without a man in the picture?

“I’m bisexual. I fall in love with a person – love is love. The quickest way to understand bisexuality is that it’s about the electricity not the plumbing.”

I thought he was going to fall out of the cab laughing. It was a deep joyful appreciative belly laugh. “That’s right!” he said, “It’s the chemistry.”

He went on to say that when he arrived from Bangladesh a couple years ago he had a hard time with gay people; he didn’t understand or like the idea. But now that he’s been around so many they are just like everyone else. “Yep, we’re in this together,” I replied, “and if anything is going to change we have to work together.” He agreed, but said he’d met some gay people who are not very nice.

I shot back that, “I understood. I’ve met many heterosexuals who are not very nice.”

“Yes of course,” he said laughing, “of course.”

As Kuwaza and I got out of the cab I told him to remember what I’d said. Smiling he assured me he “would not forget.” “Perfect,” I said, “then please make sure to relay that information to people who sound confused about bisexuality.”

More to come . . . Policy Briefing, Dan Savage, VP Biden, the Ladies Room, Bisexual Hapa buttons, flower lei for Obama, confronting the top lesbian in the White House, and post-White House strategies to name a few topics . . .

Tags: activism, bisexuality, essay, history, politics, san francisco, washington dc

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