Last Saturday, I was a volunteer for my fourth annual GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco. Once again I was a talent escort, making sure my assigned presenter had everything she needed throughout the evening. I won’t go into detail about that, since I’ve covered it in previous posts in 2010 and 2011. As always, working with the GLAAD team and being a part of this special evening was a wonderful experience.
The GLAAD Awards recognize outstanding representations of the LGBT community in the media. This time around, the host was Dianna Agron of Glee. Presenters included John Gidding (HGTV designer and host of Curb Appeal), Mario Lopez (Dancing With The Stars), comedians Chris Frangola and Fortune Feimster, actor Adam Palley (Happy Endings), Rita Moreno (you name it, she’s done it), and actor Sean Maher (Firefly). Well, there were lots of others, too! Up-and-comers Guillermo Diaz and Katie Lowes joined Kerry Washington (all from ABC’s Scandal) to present the Golden Gate Award to creator Shonda Rhimes. (Rhimes is best known for Grey’s Anatomy.) Wells Fargo Bank and Facebook were also honored.
Each year, I get to see some amazing folks up on that stage. Jennifer Tyrrell is the Ohio scout leader who was removed from her volunteer position because she’s a lesbian. She gave a heartfelt speech, surrounded by her lovely family. It was very moving. I was proud that I’d already signed her petition, and I encourage everyone to sign, if you haven’t already. It’s at change.org/scouts. I was also moved by activist Zach Wahls, the young man whose speech in Iowa for marriage equality went viral on YouTube. Another inspiring young activist was Brittany McMillan, founder of Spirit Day, who presented a special recognition award to Facebook.
The performers from Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere were stunning. When one acrobat did a one handstand on the other acrobat’s head, I was able to get a photo of the big video screen. Wow. Just, wow.
Last year, host Naya Rivera auctioned off a couple of kisses. Dianna Agron did the same this year, begging the audience to bid so her mom and brother didn’t have to. Rita Moreno joined in the fun, auctioning off a party in her home. Sadly, I’m not going to be one of those lucky party guests, since the winning bid was $15,000. Go, Rita!
A great time was had by all, and I’m already looking forward to next year.