I got the amazing opportunity to cover the 21st Annual GLAAD Awards in New York City. It was my first time at a glitzy awards ceremony or covering a red carpet (even though the carpet was technically more of a cerulean... but who's counting). I got to talk to some great celebrities attending the event including Michael Urie (Ugly Betty), Gerald McCullough (CSI), Reichen Lehmkuhl, Sarah Paulson, Cynthia Nixon, Bryan Batt, Will Philllips, and my personal fave: Sigourney Weaver, who's touching film Prayers for Bobby won a GLAAD award that night.
21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York
Some choice moments from the night included young Will Phillips (the 10 year old boy who took a stand and refused the pledge of allegiance on the basis that LGBT Americans are not in fact equal under the law) gave a surprisingly eloquent and rhetorically complex speech, and finished the whole thing off in a manner completely his own: "To quote a great statesman, 'Live Long, and Prosper." That boy is made of win.
Sarah Bernhard and Sarah Paulson brought down the house with the longest, most inappropriate, crass, opening to an award I've ever seen. Alan Cumming was his usual effervescent self, performing a mash-up of pop hits from this year (Glee Songs, Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, etc.) but with GLAAD inspired lyrics. Despite Cummings' Tony-award winning presence, girl needed some back up dancers to make the thing a little less community college talent show. "Tonight's gonna be a GLAAD night... Tonight's gonna be a GLAAD, GLAAD night" ugh... Black Eyed Peas are bad enough, but do you really have to butcher their song too?
Joy Behar's acceptance speech for Excellence in Media was touching, hilarious, and heartfelt. She thanked the gay community for supporting her at her lowest points when she started as a stand up comedienne in downtown New York City scene, and for following her the entire way along her career.
And finally, I must say that Cynthia Nixon was a tremendous choice for the Vito Russo award. Every year it seems like the GLAAD awards go to random celebrities who have exceptionally tangential relationships to queer activism (I mean, Jennifer Aniston... really? Jennifer effin' Aniston?). But Cynthia Nixon has been a fierce advocate for our community's rights across the nation, speaking in Florida on its gay adoption ban, in Washington D.C. at the National Equality March, and in her home state of New York on marriage equality. Brava.
Major props to Bil for giving me this awesome opportunity, and my partner in crime, toughstuff from BelowtheBelt.org, who backed me up with video support!