Coming back from the Canary Islands took three planes, two airlines, and twenty hours.
It is great to be back in L.A. If you live in an established neighborhood and have a car, then Los Angeles is probably the most convenient city in the world. In fact, where my family lives, you don’t even need a car with restaurants, supermarkets (including a 24-hour one), shops, the library, a church, parks all within walking distance.
After all the discussions at the Animal Rights conference in the Canary Islands about human cruelty to animals and climate change, it was a little bleak to come back to California and see that so much controversy centered around Prop. 8 which denies people the right to marry.
My former husband, Rod, was the straightest man you could ever imagine. When (male) Indonesian officials stroked him or placed their hands on his knee, Rod simply was not used to it. He did not particularly welcome those kinds of gestures of friendship.
When we first arrived in Kalimantan, Rod and I were very much in love. I remember one day in Camp Leakey when I noticed Rod staring at me very intently. I asked him what he was thinking. He gave me one of the biggest compliments that anyone has ever given me in my entire life. He said,”I am so glad that you were born a woman because if you had been born a man, I would have had no choice but to become gay.”
I think that summarizes it. The heart wants what it wants. Let’s not worry too much about whom other people want to marry.
Let us worry about the real things that matter on this earth: our treatment of animals, overpopulation, and the crisis of climate change.
Al Gore recently made the point that if the United States and every other deveoped country in the world reduced its carbon dioxide emissions to zero but if there was no change in the developing world, then “the crisis will still overtake us.”
Twenty per cent of the carbon emissions into the atmosphere come, not from industrial processes, but from the simple burning and destruction of the world’s forests, particularly in developing countries.
We need to save forests in developing countries in order to mitigate climate change, as well as to save biodiversity. When I return to Indonesia, much of OFI’s and my work involves trying to save forests.
Harbor Building in Los Angeles