When legendary gay activist David Mixner introduced GLAAD's newish prez Sarah Kate Ellis at The 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday night, it felt like a passing of the baton, he was so high on her abilities and convictions. Check out the video after the jump...
Kylie's for gay rights, her handler was against gays' right to snap photos while she spoke...too bad!
Last night was The 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. Or at least, the latest 25th Annual; GLAAD likes to hold the same event with different stars for a different pool of potential donors in different cities. I just covered L.A. weeks ago. The Oscars might consider doing this—then everyone could win! Best Picture (L.A.): Crash! Best Picture (Every Other City): Brokeback Mountain!
Held at the Waldorf Astoria, the event had a pretty darn good list of celebrity attendees, perhaps in part fueled by the fact that medium-sized gay stars who would normally have to pay good money like any other schlub in order to share air with Kylie Minogue—who was performing, perhaps her new UK single “I Was Gonna Cancel”—would get to kibbitz with her on the carpet free-for-nothin'.
I was in good hands with King of the Selfies, Peter Dee!
Trying something new, I got a mic and asked Peter Dee (pictured) to do the honors as my red-carpet face man. It was nice having his optimistic energy (“Maybe we'll get Kylie and maybe Lindsay Lohan will show up!”) to temper my...own energy (“We'll never get Kylie. We'll be lucky if they remember to give us a spot.”)
We arrived early and discovered that my two spots on the carpet were non-existent. Score one point for the power of negative thinking. GLAAD knew I was supposed to be there, so squeezed me between a Howard Stern reporter (I had nightmares of stuttering insult questions, but he was a doll, very off-brand) and some lesbians who were having a blast. One of them told Peter, “It's like everyone in New York is 25.” Yes, it is.
Not everyone in NYC is 25: Ageless Disco Era icon Rollerena!
The carpet went fairly well; we were able to squeeze in interviews with most of the names we wanted (we missed Looking's Frankie J. Alvarez and Raul Castillo, had to skip Laura Prepon for Boy George, Natasha Lyonne bypassed everyone—boy, that GBF cast sure loves to promote their adorable movie!—didn't recognize country star Kacey Musgraves, another of the evening's performers, and never saw Emmy Rossum, Abigail Breslin, Chely Wright or Naomi Watts on the carpet), and a few interesting things happened, which is all you can ask for when you're not People, Us or, at this one event only, Logo and Instinct Magazine.
Boy George was in the pink while chatting with Mike Diamond.
The toughest get was Boy George. He caused a huge commotion when he arrived in what reminded me of a pink and red hat tip to Madonna's recent Colonel Sanders look, as if the photographers were going to make a mint off of posed Boy George photos. I think that no matter what he does or what year it is, Boy George is a real-deal icon of the '80s, and an original character, so he (you should pardon the expression) engenders genuine excitement.
I was not excited when his handler had him skip over three or four outlets only (mine included)—he did extensive interviews with the big press to my right and then also did long chats with everyone further down the carpet, inexplicably. Got his PR's attention and gestured that I just wanted one question. She said, “You can do photos.” I shook my head no; one question. He was doing stand-up comedy with some of these other outlets. It was nuts. She agreed, then ignored it when George continued down the carpet, further away.
So we just went to the end of the carpet and grabbed our one question. I was happy that we were able to ask about his recent Kylie and Madonna faux-quotes scandal, because he told us we were the only ones to ask it (hello, Kylie is at the event!) and he gave us a great take on the situation, was playful, noted the name of my site in relation to his own name and did a high-five. The only thing that would've made it better would be if he'd initially been steered to stop and talk to us like we existed in the first place. George himself was great. Good moment:
“Rubbish. And in fact, I knew someone was gonna ask me this. I sued the TETU Magazine and they've actually taken responsibility for printing...and they're gonna pay me some money as well, so I might buy a new hat...I'm here to give Kylie an award, and I've traveled a long way to do it. I've actually had four hours' sleep. If I didn't love her, I wouldn't be here, would I?”
I was personally psyched to speak with Swoosie Kurtz, and to have Peter ask her about her 1981-1982 TV series with Tony Randall, Love, Sidney. After all, that show—the first with a gay (albeit subtly) gay character as a lead—made her kinda like the first “Grace.” (The first “Jack” was “Mr. Mooney”! The first “Karen Walker” was Eva Gabor on Green Acres! I like this game...)
Swoosie talked about Love, Sidney...yayyy!
Swoosie was pure class. When I admitted I, the cameraman, was the Love, Sidney fan, she said I must have been a very little boy (in truth, I'd been close to puberty).
You can see Boy George's introduction of Kylie Minogue and her entire speech/sing-along from the end of The 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in NYC last night after the jump. I have cartoonized it because I learned in the past that TV stations enjoy using stuff from YouTube and simply crediting the platform. I'm sure GLAAD has un-cartoonized footage, but here's mine...enjoy!...
I had fun at The 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Beverly Hilton on Saturday, even though it feels like covering the show is becoming more and more of a crapshoot as far as which stars I'll actually get. I remember the days when Cynthia Nixon and Sigourney Weaver were speaking with every single outlet at one of these things; increasingly, the A-listers bypass all but the broadest media (skipping even Logo, the biggest gay media there, in some cases).
Queen of the night, Laverne Cox
I arrived kinda late and was disappointed to discover my spot on the (indoor) carpet was in a hallway, so I'd be pressed against a wall as stars passed from photographers and TV media to large online and lesser online outlets. In all honesty, it worked out okay, in that no one was breathing down my neck, and any of the stars who didn't stop for me wouldn't have stopped for me no matter where I was.
The Fosters children
Stood next to Greg, who is a fabulous blogger, film writer and flirt. He'd just been injured at an event a few days earlier, so a number of the attendees were inquiring as to his health. Glad he seems to have survived with his sense of humor intact—he laughed at everything I said!
Cue scornful reactions from trans activists angry with the show, who feel it was little more than lip service, and cue scornful reactions from—I would guess—the vast majority of the (primarily) gay men who watch RDR and who are responding along the lines of “lighten up,” or, as Madonna passive-aggressively responded to her “nigga” scandal, by making reference to the “word police.”
I have a problem with both reactions; this isn't black-and-white any more than issues of gender identity are for many people.
First, while Parker Marie Molloy's “I fucking hate RuPaul” tweet that predates the show's decision to cease and desist with the trans verbiage was, in my opinion, fairly criticized as unprofessional over her simultaneous reporting for The Advocate (a once and occasionally still journalistically admirable publication that nevertheless once branded Madonna its “Sissy of the Year” ahead of virulently homophobic villains all because she'd clarified that she wasn't a lesbian), there's no accounting for personal taste, so if anyone wants to fucking hate on RuPaul for whatever reason, I get it.
At The 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards last night at the Beverly Hilton in L.A., the legendary—and still hot in her eighties!—Rita Moreno made a strong case for Jennifer Lopez as a deserving recipient of GLAAD's coveted Vanguard Award, praising Lopez for the LGBT-inclusive series she produces, The Fosters:
“She's a phenom. Jennifer knew she'd catch shit from anti-gay haters—and she did, before they had even shot a frame, she got all that. But she didn't care. Because in its boldness, bravery and entertainment factor, The Fosters has Jennifer's touch all over it. Everything! Everything this woman touches is golden. Cojno! [Putting on accent] I could keel her.”
In accepting the award, Lopez said:
“I have to give it up for my lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender fans becausethey be loyal...Finally, I really want to thank GLAAD for all of the important, daring, powerful work that you do, not only in mainstream media, but in Spanish-language media too. You all need to know that GLAAD is spreading the message of love and acceptance in English and en Espanol. El amor es el amor.”
I know a lot of gay people who sniff at GLAAD, and to be fair, there is a lot to poke fun at. But whenever I attend these events, I have to say the B.S. is very easy to see through, and what I wind up focusing on is the good that GLAAD accomplishes, whether it's coaching new-to-the-public-eye gay writers, activists and others on how best to express themselves, or leading the conversation on issues like the NYC St. Patrick's Day parade and the importance of words and yes, of image, in this world. It's certainly understandable that we may disagree with some of GLAAD's tactics, but there is a lot of good being done here.