Monday, April 20, 2009

The Glaad Awards - photos and dish from the "gay Oscars" Saturday Night

This past Saturday, GLAAD held their Los Angeles 2009 Media Awards to honor and celebrate the positive representations of lgbt folks in print, television and film.

Since it's not televised, it generally tends to contain some pretty fun moments and this year was no exception.

The Nokia Center downtown was filled with gays, celebs, gay celebs and about 500 local lgbt youths from local high schools packed into the upper balconies who made the entire event so much fun with their ebullient screams of joy at almost everything that happened during the event (as opposed to all us old, bitter queens on the floor who clapped politely and wondered when the open bar was going to re open).

Okay, first the dish. Yes, Kathy Griffin came out in a bikini with her marriage rights white ribbon pinned to her who-ha. I was sitting fairly close to the stage and yes, she looked fabulous.

Griffin joked during her acceptance speech that GLAAD absolutely could not find anyone to give her the award. That was true. Everyone they asked for whatever reason declined handing Griffith the Vanguard award.

It eventually landed on out gay actor TR Knight from Grey's Anatomy, and he was absolutely adorable and hysterical reading from an introduction on a piece of paper that he noted was written by Griffith. She gave a fantastic acceptance speech that was both charming and of course, hysterical.

Ellen won for best talk show segment for her marriage episode - where she televised her wedding to actress Portia De Rossi. Ellen is sporting some sort of new, short boy 'do which I'll admit, I'm not into it. But she was LOVELY as was Portia.

Beautiful, gracious speech and her whole team was just beaming.

Adam Shankman - the out director of Hairspray and producer of such hits as 17 Again and Step Up - hit the stage with irreverence and humour when accepting his award for helming the Marc Shaiman internet musical, Prop 8: The Musical, which received a special award.

"Boy the gays sure like to go on and on, don't they," he joked at the podium as we were probably at that point 2 hours and 15 minutes into the gay gala. He went on to give a big plug to the youth non profits Lifeworks Mentoring and The Point Foundation, saying we need to really be there for the youth. He also used an enormous amount of colorful language, the kind usually found in a Scorsese film. "Hey, next year how 'bout I direct and we'll keep this whole thing down to an hour, okay?"

Here is Shankman in the photo above, along with Star Trek alums, and civil rights activists George Takei and Nichelle Nichols. He's giving a heads up to all the high school kids in the balcony.

Speaking of going on and on - along with another opportunity for me to use that term I learned last year, "hot mess" - Ilene Chaiken accepted the award for creating and helming THE L WORD on Showtime.

Not sure what that dress was, or what that long, rambling bit was she did (it was a faux pitch for The L Word to us, the imaginary studio executives, and as long as it was, it seemed she spoke really, really fast to make up for the length, so it was doubly painful).

Meanwhile, the stunning Jennifer Beals, Kate Moening and Leisha Haley were just standing there on stage reticent through the entire bit.

You can see for yourself in the photobook below.

MILK won for best feature wide release (shameless plug, my film SHELTER won for Limited Release!) and it was just lovely to see that team of fabulous, out gay filmmakers on stage - Dan Jinks, Bruce Cohen, Gus Van Sant and Dustin Lance Black.

pictured, me in the same old tired suit I wear to all these events, and the lovely star of Queer as Folk, Thea Gill.

If I were giving out an award to the best presenter, it would go to the team of Wilson Cruz and Justina Machado (Six Feet Under, Pedro) who went off the teleprompter several times and subsequently got the biggest laughs of the night. They were lovely and charming.

GLAAD really knocked it out of the park this year when they asked performer Ms Coco Peru to host. Wise choice, wise choice. She gets my award for best host of a gay event EVER....or at least in three years since Alec Mapa hosted the 2006 LGBT Center Gala Awards. She was absolutely fantastic. She joked at the beginning of the evening, "Why did they ask a Drag Queen to host? Because I was available and met their!" However it happened, it was a wise choice. She is funny, relevant and just a pro. Coco also joked, "I showed up here with bunch of material, but they just told me I can't use any of it. Something about "defamation". Did they not notice they asked a drag queen to host!?"

At the after party, Ms Peru told me this was in fact TRUE! She couldn't use any of the material she planned. You would never know it, as her stories and jokes were just lovely and helped move along the 3 hour plus show.

Bishop Gene Robinson received the Stephen F Kolzak Award (that's a big award) and I have to tell you, if you have not seen For The Bible Tells Me So yet...damn, bitch, get on that. Go to your damn netflix right now and put it on. I'll wait until you get back.

3 hours people. At the end of the night, Ms Jennifer Holiday - the original Effie from Broadway's Dreamgirls - came out and sang, "And I"m Telling You, I'm not Leaving", at which point everyone in the audience sighed, "Um, yes, in fact, we ARE leaving."

Then it was off to the after party upstairs for more wine, absolut and schmoozing, with the live auction hosted by the hunky Brad Rowe, star of the GLAAD Award winning film SHELTER (another shameless plug!!!)

I have some photos below from the celeb pre party, the event (which I snagged from Wire Image) and the show.


Anonymous said...

"Hot mess," there may have been but you look fabulous, as always!

Anonymous said...

I've been dying to ask...what the hell is Bruce Cohen going through with that hair????