Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (May 9, 2008)

 
 


LIKE "LADIES’ NIGHT," BUT WITH LESBIANS

Last Thursday in Los Angeles, more than 600 lesbians, bisexual women and our supporters turned up for the annual L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Women’s Night, honoring lesbian and bisexual women who have made a difference in the community. Jane Lynch hosted the event and invited some AfterEllen.com vloggers — Bridget McManus, Jill Bennett, Cathy DeBuono and myself — to be her guests. Here’s a picture of all of us with Jane:

Left to right: Bridget McManus, Cathy DeBuono, Jill Bennett,
Jane Lynch and Karman Kregloe

Two of the honorees that night were Sharon Stone (Special Board of Directors Award) …



Photo credit: Valerie Macon

… and Linda Perry (Creative Integrity Award).



Photo credit: Valerie Macon

Here’s a cute pic of Jane and Jill together on the red carpet:



Photo credit: Valerie Macon

If you look closely, you can see the edge of my jacket (loaned to me by Jackie Jones — thanks Jax!) next to Jane. The paparazzi cropped me out of the picture, probably because 1) they had no idea who I was, and/or 2) I was making a weird face or holding my body in an awkward position. I know nothing about red carpet etiquette, except for the basic rule about not jumping into pictures with people more famous than you. People like Jane Lynch. Or Sharon Stone.

Recipients of the L.A.C.E. (Lesbian and Bisexual Women Active in Community Empowerment) Awards, for local women working to improve the health and well-being of the LGBT community, were recognized that night, too. Those honorees were Liliana T. Perez (Public Service Award), Susan Russell (Spirituality Award), Andrea Sperling (Professional Achievement Award), Marquita Thomas (Arts & Entertainment Award) and Sunnie Rose Berger (Grassroots Activist Award).

The big event also served as a fundraiser for a wide range of women’s programming at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, including women’s health, legal assistance, domestic violence prevention and education, and cultural programs designed especially for women. Many fabulous items were on display as part of the silent auction held in the theater lobby.

But the real fun began with the announcement of the live auction. Comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer sent us AE vloggers into the rowdy crowd with microphones to help facilitate the bidding process. I’m not sure if we were supposed to bully people into making higher bids or just offer neck rubs to the women who were already waving their bulging checkbooks around.

What started out as a nice, normal auction went a little crazy when Sharon Stone, dissatisfied by the paltry bids she was hearing, stormed the stage, grabbed a mic and started running the show.



Photo credit: Faye Sadou

After chastising all of us for being "bad lesbians" (she was just teasing), the fundraising vet launched into some old-school style bid-calling that ignited the crowd. Seeing that we were no longer needed, we AE vloggers abandoned our audience neck-rubbing positions and stood behind Ms. Stone at the stage, watching as she worked her magic.



Photo credit: Faye Sadou

As if raising a bunch of money for us wasn’t enough, she closed the auction with a heartfelt impromptu speech about the positive changes she has witnessed in the political climate regarding LGBT rights, and promised us that we would all see the right to marry become a reality in our lifetime. She also revealed that she’s ordained to marry people, so when the time comes you and your lady can call up Ms. Stone. Can you even imagine what your wedding album would look like?

After the auction, Stone and Perry were honored, and Redcar gave an excellent performance. Jill, Bridget, Cathy and I watched from the green room, enjoying cocktails and getting shushed several times by some imposing security guards for being too loud. Jill told us about kissing Sharon Stone’s ring before the auction, and we all fondly recalled dropping to our knees and bowing in worship of Ms. Stone onstage after she raised all of that money. (For the record, she didn’t look at all surprised by our display of adulation. I think she gets that a lot.)

Jill and I also practiced our rock star poses for the red carpet in case we’re ever asked back again:

In summation, it was an amazing and inspiring night, and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center raised over $210,000. For more information about the Center and how you can get involved with their good work, check out their official website. Thanks again to Jane Lynch for inviting AfterEllen.com to be a part of this wonderful event!

by Karman Kregloe

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