On Sunday, November 12, at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, California, non-profit lesbians-in-Hollywood organization POWER UP hosted its sixth annual award ceremony honoring 10 “Amazing Gay Women” in Hollywood. As in years past, the honorees were a diverse group, with accomplishments in film, television, music, print, theatre, and the Internet.
Following a silent auction and celebrity pre-party attended by Honey Labrador (Queer Eye for the Straight Girl), Darryl Stephens (Noah’s Arc), Nancylee Myatt (South of Nowhere),Daniela Sea (The L Word), Jamie Babbit and Andrea Sperling (But I’m a Cheerleader), Nikki Weiss and Carole Antouri (The Oprah Winfrey Show), Andrea Myerson (Laughing Matters…More!), Christina Cox (Better Than Chocolate) Melanie Mayron, Roberta Munroe (Dani and Alice), Angela Robinson (D.E.B.S.) Reichen Lehmkuhl (Amazing Race) and others, the ceremony was kicked off with a warm welcome from POWER UP Founder Stacy Codikow.
Codikow and her partner, President of Film Production and Distribution Lisa Thrasher, proudly presented a sneak preview of POWER UP’s first feature film, The Itty Bitty Titty Committee, directed by Jamie Babbit and starring Clea DuVall, Melonie Diaz, Daniela Sea, and Nicole Vicius. Following the preview was the presentation of a special Premiere Award to both Pie Town Productions, a television production company specializing in reality and documentary programming, and Brian Graden, President of Entertainment, MTV Networks Music Channels and President of Logo.
The Premiere Award recognizes companies or individuals whose “integrity and professionalism knows no prejudice, who support diversity, and through their positive example encourage all creative and talented people to pursue their dreams.”
The women of here!’s Dante’s Cove—Michelle Wolff, Thea Gill, and Erin Cummings—presented the Premiere Award to Pie Town Productions. In her acceptance speech, Pie Town co-founder Tara Sandler recalled the company’s humble origins and expressed hope that the regular and casual inclusion of gay and lesbian people in their programming (shows like Design On a Dime and Designed to Sell) would encourage greater acceptance and understanding of queer lives by the mainstream culture.
Actor/director Amanda Bearse, one of the first lesbian celebrities to publicly come out, presented a Premiere Award to MTV/Logo’s Brian Graden. Graden spoke eloquently about the philosophy behind the formation of the gay network–which he joked was run by a “lesbian cabal”–and his desire for Logo to help bring lesbian voices to the forefront in the world of entertainment.