L.A. Scene May ’09: The GLAAD Awards, an Evening with Women, and The Abbey

L.A. Scene is a monthly column that chronicles lesbian nightlife and events of interest in Los Angeles. Sarah Witness, an East Coast transplant and obvious femme, has been navigating the snark infested waters of Hollywood since 2001. Although she’s an NYU trained actress, she prefers sipping vodka and making idle chit-chat at really gay nightclubs.


I attended the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Nokia Center in Los Angeles on on April 18. When I told a number of lesbian friends that I would be going to this, rather than lurking typically around West Hollywood on a Saturday night, they told me this was pointless because GLAAD is mostly for guys. Some of my best friends know guys, so I decided to give it a whirl. 

And guess what? It was a giant sea of gay. Shocking. Actually, I have never seen so many gay people in one room. I’ve certainly never seen so many gay people downtown. I mean, I only go downtown when I have jury duty, but still.

Anyhoo, my friends are idiots because a huge percentage of the attendees were women. Like, oh I don’t know, Ellen and Portia, Kathy Griffin, Katherine Moennig, Jane Lynch, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Megan Mullally, Kate Walsh, Jennifer Beals, and Jessica Alba, just to name a few.

The show was basically the Oscars, but gay … like the Oscars. The men wore suits. The women wore suits. It lasted forever and all the best stuff was at the beginning and the end, so I’ll talk about the middle.

One of the first awards was for “Outstanding Talk Show Episode” with a lengthy tag line such as “involving a gay subject matter but not taking place within an otherwise gay show.” Don’t quote me on that. 

“Ellen and Portia’s Wedding Day” won, beating out numerous Tyra Banks episodes that dealt with gay things. Nothing against Ellortia, who I adore and who have done a great deal for our kind and who looked hot, but when you have to choose between someone clueless and someone showing their OWN WEDDING VIDEO, maybe it’s time to retire that category. Besides, don’t Ellortia have enough awards? Also, they have each other.

Lots of men won things and some were interesting (I want that Bishop Gene Robinson to be my Grandfather. Can Bishops be Grandfathers?) Some were boring but as this is a website about women and for women I will spare you the snoozy details.

The Special Recognition Award was given to The L Word. Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig, and Leisha Hailey looked absolutely, unbelievably gorgeous as they stood on stage with Ilene Chaiken who accepted the award and spoke for what seemed like several months. 

Unbelievably, Jennifer, Katherine, and Leisha were not allowed to get a word in edgewise.

Kathy Griffin won the Vanguard Award and accepted it in a bikini. If you wondered where she’s been lately, apparently the answer is, “at the gym.”

Other winners included Desperate Housewives, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Prop 8, The Musical; Milk; and “A juzgar por las apariencias” y “En otro cuerpo” Aqui y Ahora.

How cool is it that my high school Spanish finally paid off? And, how cool is it that this was the gay award show of the year, spotlight on the word “gay,” and so many straight celebrities showed up, presented, and all in all, took the event as seriously as the Oscars or the Emmy’s? And how great that so many of them were women?

See more photos from the GLAAD Media Awards in L.A.

NEXT: a star-studded Evening with Women