Monday, July 13, 2009

Latin America meets Nepal: Mexican humanitarian womam helps LGBT people in Nepal

by Jose Ortiz
Chiang Mai, Thailand. July 12, 2009

A “chance” meeting
I was having breakfast with Steve in the dining room of our resort outside of Kathmandu when all of a sudden I noticed that the couple next to us was speaking Spanish. Well, just hearing the language of heaven (as we Spanish speakers call it) simply warmed my heart. Wow, it was so wonderful to hear a familiar language in a far away land. Of course, I asked where they were from and discovered that they were from Mexico. The couple had been living in Nepal for over 10 years. They came to Nepal after living in other parts of the world due the husband’s job.

When the woman, Lupita, heard that we had networked with the Blue Diamond Society, she lit up. Lupita had worked with drug addicted people, many of whom, after they had recovered, joined the BDS. She was touching LGBT lives for the better, and only later realizing what their sexual orientation was. What are the chances that the Spanish speaking person I happened to meet also happened to have such an interesting personal connection to the organization that was sponsoroing one of our talks? In addition, Lupita was thrilled to hear we were reaching out to the pastors to address the misconceptions and misinterpretations regarding homosexuality and the Scriptures. She has gay friends herself back in Mexico and absolutely adores them, she told me.

She was not just any expatriate
I mentioned to her that we were going to give a talk to BDS members that Wednesday, July 8. She gleefully said she must know where it was being held and that she would definitely attend. By the way, she is also an Ortiz by marriage. But the “coincidences” don’t stop there. When I got to the speaking venue and told one of the BDS staff that Lupita was coming, he asked with a smile, “you mean Lupita Hernandez?” As I searched my memory for her maiden last name, the BDS fellow described her to a tee. She had been the recipient of an award (from the LGBT community, I think) for her humanitarian work as a foreigner in Nepal. So, God once again has put us in contact with a key person in our travels just because we (Steve and I) always try to be friendly and interactive with people spontaneously.

It was great to see her smiling face come through the door and greet me with the warmth and kisses typical of Latino friendship greetings. A bit of “mi gente” (my people) right here in far away Nepal. Later that week, as I spoke to her from my mobile phone as our flight was about to depart from Nepal, Lupita said that what we shared at the Wednesday talk - warning the LGBT community of the fallacy of Christian "ex-gay" conversion ministries - was so important and that she wished to stay in touch as she would assist the LGBT community in all that she could. As coordinator for Africa, Asia and Latino/as in USA, I am so pleased to see this international/cross cultural networking and collaboration. It is one of my favorite aspects of working with Other Sheep.

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