I know you want the dish on the NY GLAAD awards of Monday, March 26 where I was awarded a Pioneer Award and I know it's already Wednesday, but I was trashed on Tuesday from all the loving. And the pre-show fluffing, of course. How did Rona Barrett do it all those years?
Before the show, at home it was like getting ready for Prom in this house. I managed to talk my dear partner and co-pioneer, into wearing a traditional Indian kurta pajama but not the bindi on her forehead. She looked gorgeous and, though she will never admit it, was the most comfortably dressed of everyone at the event. She was total arm candy. I wore a black suit. I know you are shocked.
The flashing cameras on the red carpet are like having a walking optical migraine and make you appreciate how it's quite understandable that occasionally your big stars can get a little testy with the paparazzi. I was ably led through the whole thing by Michael my official GLAAD handler and Michele Karlsberg, with a K, my publicist who might also have scored a home makeover with the ubiquitous Queer Eye guys.
The dinner at the Marriot Marquis was sold out to the rafters making it difficult for our intrepid waiters. I was a schmooze operator. My good friends the choreographer Elizabeth Streb and her Air America dreamboat Laura Flanders; theater maven Harriet Levy and her playwriting partner Carol Kaplan; lesbo comic Judy Gold and her fabulous find on Time Out New York Personals [really!]; Kate Moira Ryan the playwright of Judy's GLAAD award winning play; Michele and her squeeze Vicky, and actress Cynthia Nixon and her fabulous babe, the union organizer Christine Marioni were at my table. Urvashi was at another table close to me - private time - and her table was rocking with more friends and new acquaintances: the downtown real and raw actress, Shelly Mars; the brilliant sociologist and party boy, Juan Battle; Deerfield Academy teacher and lacrosse coach, Kim Wright - among others.
Cynthia presented the award to me in such a beautiful tribute, I asked Streb sitting next to me who she was talking about. Many awards were given to the mainstream media for their positive coverage of the GLBT community. They respond well to awards. Just as GLAAD has reached out to the huge Hispanic viewing media, I hope soon they will reach out to the gay media which is more a part of the mainstream than ever before. Of course we know we are the headwaters, but let the mainstream have their little illusion.
One of the highlights of the night was when Rosie O'Donnell, in accepting her deserved award for the wonderful documentary of her Family Cruise line, lauded the work of Billie Jean King portrayed in the HBO documentary. She rightly praised Billie for her grand career and feminist principles. I had a tear in me eye.
The evening ended with an extended, surreal moment of Patti Labelle meeting her award presenter, Dreamgirls Jennifer Hudson, but it was all worth it when they spontaneously took the microphones and ripped their way through an impromptu gospel duet.
After a brief moment at the after party emceed by Junior Vasquez, we rode back uptown with Cynthia and Christine and agreed we should try to make a more intimate dinner date next time.
PS - watch for the Award Show on the LOGO!