Thursday, February 6, 2014
My partner Julia McCrossin is an alum of George Washington University – she graduated from GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences in 2008 and 2011 – and thus was invited to the Human Rights Campaign's 6th annual GW Alumni Reception tonight, and I was her guest. This was actually the first GW alum event for both of us. And our first queer event since we started living together – I’m a lifelong resident of metro Boston and Julia of metro DC, and after 4 ½ years of long-distance partnership, I moved to DC at the end of last month. Due to my move I actually didn’t have an appropriate outfit unpacked yet – but this was a perfect excuse to visit the local Goodwill, where I was lucky enough to find the perfect things.
This year’s topic was trans rights, which is largely what sold us.
The event took place at HRC’s headquarters here in DC – the Equality Center. Our efforts to make sure we were on time made us early, so we got to give ourselves a good tour of the space, which we hadn’t been to before. Do you know they have their own custom bike racks on the sidewalk? Versions of the HRC logo, and in the blue and yellow no less.
At 6:30 the cocktail reception began; we had some good conversation with Kimberly Acquaviva, Associate Professor and Director of Faculty Affairs at GW’s School of Nursing (1 of the 3 panelists), another queer woman professor, a trans woman alum, and a gay lawyer alum. Mara Keisling, (founding) Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (another panelist) visited our table, and remembered me, which was nice -- we’ve been in the same spaces a few times, but I don’t know that we’ve actually met, at least not for quite a while.
At 7:00 there was a panel discussion, including questions and answers, with Mara (this was a change from Lisa Mottet, NCTE’s Deputy Executive Director, but in this case it was a win-win), Kimberly, and Sterling Washington (CCAS '95), Director of the Mayor's Office of GLBT Affairs. There were also remarks from alum Michael R. Komo (CCAS BA '11, GSPM MS '12) and current student Emily A. Smith (ESIA BA '15).
A bit after 8:00 it was time for more networking, and we did a bit, but left fairly early because we were tired and it was something of a schlep to get home.
There was a photographer, and I had our picture taken in front of the logo-ed wall provided for the occasion, but I can’t figure out if or where the pictures are posted. I will ask when I post this.
There were at least a few dozen attendees. The event was free; we were encouraged to support GW’s LGBT Resource Center.