(Were you surprised to be asked to carry the torch in San Francisco?) Yes but more so because I'm a non-athletic person, not because of my activism. (You're a human rights activist, you're a lesbian, you've spent time in China and know about Chinese attitudes towards homosexuality, lots and lots reasons for you to not have been asked and to have said no. Why did you say yes?) I had just come back from China doing research and many people I talked to said that China is changing and they said this is going to close China down. (So when you read about the events in Paris, do you think those events are more harmful to China than good?) I think the protests are good, I think the Olympics are bringing forth a dialogue which is important. But I do think throwing objects and acts of violence don't serve the protesters. (China is opening up but it's still not that open. Do you think you could've made a stronger position by turning down this offer to carry the torch?) That's a good question, but I do think having dialogue in China in a meaningful way then we have the potential of changing the current world trajectory and I'd like to make an impact in that way. I've been asked by many people why I'm doing this, and my family is concerned about my safety. With my activist friends, we've had good exchanges and I hope I can help bring the issues of human rights to China as well.

Related Stories