Spent Saturday night with Randy Barbato, James St. James, and Wilson Cruz at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, for the LA Gay & Lesbian Center’s Women’s Night, a gayla celebrating the achievements of women. Jeesh, they weren’t kidding about its being a night of women. It was a sea of glittering, tuxedoed lesbians, maybe a thousand of them. All different kinds, some not even gay. Two hundred in Billy Jean King drag, 25 sporting Burl Ives looks, a Portia de Rossi or two for flava, and the real Jennifer Beals. It was exhilerating. And not in a girl-on-girl action way either. Randy had neglected to mention it was black tie, so I was inappropriately dressed in blue. Not jeans, but I might as well. James had accidentally dressed appropriately, with a Rick Owens black, voille-encased jacket that can be fashioned into three separate looks! Randy wore a pink knit shirt with a grey jacket. The dashing Wilson somehow had advance notice and showed up in a tux. Very professional. All the gay girls love Wilson. The tickets were $300 per, so the cash bar was inexcusable. We wondered if we would be charged for dinner. We were not, but a predinner auction cleaned everyone out. There were only two women at table 102–not counting James and me–and the men wore sport coats. I could see Randy and Wilson’s table 1 from 102 and spotted Stockard Channing, Alison Janney, Holland Taylor, Alley Mills, Jenny O’Hara, and the night’s Creative Integrity Award winner, writer, producer, director Lee Rose. James and I left after a stirring speech by Lorri L. Jean, the head of the LA Gay & Lesbian Center. Randy emailed me on Sunday:
I was kind of moved by the speech given by Lorri L. Jean–very politicized and for me really made things worth it. In the Bush age, the Gay & Lesbian Center’s federal funding is getting cut, and they are a pretty tremendous organization, their youth center is like the best in the nation, helping homeless and troubled gay and lesbian youth. Bush is busy funding Christian-based organizations; imagine the gay and lesbian youth of LA knocking on the door of a catholic church? Not.
Gotta say, though, Jennifer Beals also made a really impressive speech; she was the star of the evening. She looks great and is a smart cookie! All the girls from The L Word made little speeches, but it was Beals who really hit it outta the park.
Jenny O’Hara was the star at my table. OK, Alison Janney was a total hoot as well, but something about Jenny totally gets me going. The last time i saw her we spent the evening talking about vaginal re-constructive surgery, though that wasn’t the case last night (felt like it would be inappropriate). [Ed. note: Exactly when is it appropriate?]
Alley Mills, the mom from The Wonder Years, was great, and she wore an outfit that was a knockoff of an old Hollywood starlet’s (she wasn’t sure if it was Jean Harlow or not). She saw the outfit and got an MGM seamstress to copy if. Hot.
Holland Taylor thought the temperature of the room was too low; that might explain why she was so chilly. Stockard Channing, well, she was just plain fun. She’s always so dignified but secretly a laugh riot! Wilson Cruz knew everyone in the room, it was exhausting. i swear the guy should run for office.
Stockard and Alison gave Lee her award and the best part was that when Lee got on stage she kept the two girls at her sides so they couldn’t escape; it had a very hot “menage” feel to it. Then Lee asked that the lights be dimmed–so they would look better. She wouldn’t start her speech till the lighting was right! And I remembered why I adore her–’cause at heart she’s a drag queen dyke. Incidentally, I later bumped into her in the men’s room–HOT–adjusting her Dolce & Gabbana suit.
By the end of the evening, I felt very much in touch with my inner lesbian! And I loved it. As for the swag bag….errrrr….a notepad?