LogoTV’s Trailblazers airs Thursday, June 26, at 9/8c, but AfterEllen was on the red carpet for the taping of the event earlier this week. We got to chat with a few attendees and honorees on their way into the event which took place at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in all its gorgeous, stained glass glory.
Edie Windsor and Roberta Kaplan, the incredible women behind the defeat of DOMA were being honored with Trailblazer awards at the event. They were nearly rushed past us but Roberta Kaplan made sure she and Edie took a moment to speak with AfterEllen.
Honorees Roberta Kaplan and Edie Windsor
Roberta Kaplan: (To her handler) We’re lesbians, so…
AfterEllen: (small fist pump) Thank you! Both of you are tremendous inspirations…
Edie Windsor: Talk a little bit slower dear.
AE: So sorry Edie (She’s so right, I talk really fast) Now that you are done saving the world, are you taking a break, or are you moving on to the next battleground?
EW: I am taking a break. My feeling is the parade is the end for a little bit of time. I really need a break.
RK: My answer is both. My favorite book I used to read to my son when he was little, was called A Dog with a Bone and I don’t think that’s coincidence. I think I’m the kind of person that is a dog looking for a bone. So I’m always on to the next fight, that’s what I do for a living, but at the same time I’m going to spend some quality time fly fishing with my family in Montana this summer.
It was a great surprise to see comedian Judy Gold on the red carpet, and I quickly waved her over to talk about trailblazing and the importance of allies.
AfterEllen: Judy, you are a trailblazer.
Judy Gold: I guess you can say that. I haven’t the money or the fame that the other trailblazers have, but yes, I have been an out lesbian-mother-comic for a long time.
AE: What do you think are the qualities of a trailblazer? Who has inspired you along the way?
JG: Oh my god, there’s so many. I would say, Gloria Steinem, for sure. Harvey Milk, beyond beyond. Judith Light! I remember in 1994, I went to the March on Washington…wait, was it the AIDS walk? It was something, and she was like a straight ally before there were straight allies. She said, “No one should ever tell you, who you can love.” I was like, oh my god, because straight people never came out to support gays and she was one. I love her, she’s amazing.
AE: And as we’ve seen, it’s essential. That’s one of the reasons things have progressed so quickly in a short amount of time.
JG: Right. I mean, even Dick Fucking Cheney. As people come out, people realize, you know a gay person, you love a gay person. Are you going to vote or be silent or do something that directly effects their human civil rights? I think the answer is turning out to be no for most people.
AE: Tell us, what are you doing now? Where can we see you next?
JG: On July 1st, we are going to be the first same sex couple on Celebrity Wife Swap. I’ll be in Provincetown in the next two weeks. I’m going to Mill Valley to a theatre, and then I’m at the Montreal Comedy festival.
Activist and actress Laverne Cox stopped to say a quick hello to all her lesbian fans.
Orange Is The New Black stars Samira Wiley, Laverne Cox, Lea DeLaria and Matt McGorry
Laverne Cox: Hi AfterEllen! I love AfterEllen.
AfterEllen: And we love you! Actually that’s what I wanted to say. I know we only have time for one question with you, but did you know how much lesbians love you?
LC: I have an indication through social media. I’ve gotten many marriage proposals from women, I don’t know if they identify as lesbian or not, but I’ve gotten many marriage proposals and propositions from women. Unfortunately, I’m not into women but Samira Wiley actually makes me want to rethink that. Have you watched Season 2 of Orange is the New Black?
AE: Of course! I recap it.
LC: Watching Samira make out with girls, like her lips, I was like, “Oh my god, she’s so sexy.” So Samira makes me want to rethink some stuff, but anyway…
Young Trailblazer honoree Jordan Scruggs popped by and was a total delight to talk to. She has some great advice for LGBT youth looking to get involved.
Jazz, Adam White, Jordan Scruggs and Carson Crane
AfterEllen: You’re being awarded tonight!
Jordan Scruggs: Ah yeah, well mostly just being honored.
AE: Well congratulations!
JS: Thank you.
AE: What would you tell other young people, how they can get involved in the way you’ve gotten involved, to actively start changing this world?
JS: Honestly, just start looking. Start at the Trevor Project, especially if they are youth and they are trying to figure things out and trying to understand themselves or make a difference. Look at trevorproject.org. And after that, start looking at ways to help out in your local community. Think about, what would you like in your community? What was interesting to you at this age, or even younger, and just start there.