Bear, it was wonderful to meet you in passing, uh, one of those mornings this past week in the CC lobby (Sarah waved me over and made introductions; we'd finally just met ftf over Elise's birthday dinner Tuesday night).
I'm glad you got to that panel and even more that the conversations and ideas from it carry on over here, thank you.
Opening doors and making the first move is a good thing for any privileged class member to think about and to do; it's a great way to get woken up from, or to start to be come aware of, the complacencies we don't yet see while in that strange statis of unexamined privilege. Writing characters that are "Other" in whatever way is another start; but opening that door so that what's currently "other" becomes, or can possibly begin becoming, "just all us different folks" is a stronger step towards something calling diversity.
I was glad to see this panel on the program. I'm even more glad to hear about it (cos I couldn't get there, and am curious).
I like how you portray all kinds of folks in your books - you get all the way to a feel for cultures. It makes a difference.