On the Hugh M Hefner First Amendment Awards

My recent trip to DC was extraordinary – from enjoying Michelin starred restaurants to receiving an award from the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation for my battle to advance civil liberties, then meeting incredible journalists like Wolf Blitzer – but I don’t think I ever felt more out of place. Each of the folks standing with me in the photograph are far more deserving and exhibited much greater courage in more difficult situations.

Still, it was nice to be among people who believed in pursuing complex, important work that affects the marginalized. It was especially meaningful to have my wife Faina by my side, encouraging me as I nervously scrambled for words to share.

It was a little surreal to share sentiments about justice with the Supreme Court and Capitol Hill was only a few streets over, as even tougher issues were being grappled with and my case being used in ways I both agreed and disagreed with, but we continue to press on because the moral arc of the universe compels us to. I am humbled, grateful, sleep deprived…and ready to go back to the work of making trouble through my art. In other words, back to earth now.


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