L.A. Scene June 2011: Pride Edition


Life Out Loud is a huge annual cocktail party that benefits LifeWorks, the youth mentoring segment of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center.  It’s a great cause and a great opportunity to leave WeHo during PRIDE weekend.   This year the party was held at Paramount Studios, on the backlot named New York Street.  It’s permanently set up to look like an old-timey or perhaps just Greenwich Village-y area of Manhattan, which is cool, if vaguely disconcerting when you just parked on Melrose.

Anywhoo, you know what sponsor you don’t see at most GLBTQVC events? Barbie. A giant tent full of Barbies was set up for our viewing pleasure. Barbra Streisand Barbie and Cher Barbie were front and center and huge hits with the throngs of boys. Less to my surprise but more to my liking, Absolut was a sponsor as well. Apple vodka!

A bunch of celebs showed up to lend their support, including Geri Jewell, Dustin Lance Black, and The Real L Word‘s Whitney, Rose and Raquel. Raquel was quite a chatterbox on the red carpet.

The Real L Word’s Whitney, Raquel and Rose

Pauley Perrette

Dustin Lance Black

Suzanne Westenhoefer

The fantastic singer Cortes Alexander performed and was backed up by the lovely and talented Jennifer Rappo and Melissa Bailey.

The night’s honorees were Mike C. Manning (The Real World: DC) and Zach Wahls (the guy who gave the heartwarming testimony in front of the Iowa State Legislature in support of his two moms).

Upon leaving, guests were given SWAG from the sponsors.  Sadly, I did not get a Lexus, even though they were huge sponsors. I did, however, get a Barbie doll if anyone wants to come play.


I swear I don’t get a kickback from the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center but they seem to be the only ones having events these days, so here’s another one. Every month their women’s group, LAWN, holds an event called LAWN Court, which is a networking opportunity for women from all different backgrounds to mix and mingle and eat and drink. Four times a year, this is preceded by LAWN Speak, which is a lecture series featuring prominent women in the community.

This month, five amazing women were invited to speak.  They are all highly successful businesswomen in typically male-dominated fields. Hollis Bulleit travels the country consulting for Bulleit Bourbon, a company her father founded.  This may sound like nothing, but think about it, how many women drink bourbon, much less go around to whiskey-fests selling it?

Partners on and off the court, Erika Nakamura and Amelia Posada are the founders of Lindy & Grundy, a high quality butcher shop. They are both about five feet tall and Amelia is a former vegetarian. But, despite the odds, they own and fully operate one of the most prestigious shops in Los Angeles.

Kristen Trattner and Monica May (also a couple) opened the Nickel Diner in 2008. Known for it’s homestyle yet unique food, the diner is on 5th Street in Downtown Los Angeles, smack in the middle of what can still be referred to as Skid Row.  Monica was already an experienced cafe owner. Kristen is a former visual effects artist who was struck with stage three tongue cancer in 2000.  Unable to eat solid food for a year, she became obsessed with cooking it so she could at least enjoy the smell.

Why, oh why, can’t they cast women like this on The Real L Word? Maybe they don’t have enough time for drunken sexcapades what with their lame-o jobs and all.

LAWN Court followed the lecture.  We had to wear nametags, but it was a small price to pay for the free drinks and good company.  Hollis Bulleit conducted a bourbon tasting and there was a food truck parked outside.

I have to admit, I thought the event was going to be really dorky and boring and it turned out to be great.  LAWN is open to guests as well as members so check out their upcoming programs if you’re in L.A.

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