Welcome to the 18th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Presented by Absolut. Taking place at the Kodak Theater, home of the Academy Awards presentation, right in the heart of Hollywood, you too can check the show out Saturday, April 21, if youre lucky enough to get Logo. Its fun, fairly short, and there are no gratuitous dance routines. And check out our red carpet coverage here.
The festivities kicked off with a cocktail party and silent auction where the A-list of L.A.s Gay List bid on, among other items, paintings by Dan Monteavaro, a Mitchell Gold shopping spree, a walk-on role on 30 Rock, a seven-night Olivia cruise, and photographs by artist Scott Smith.
Recently out(ed) T.R. Knight got a semi standing ovation when he took to the stage, appearing near tears at the reaction before introducing a giggling Sarah Paulson and Rachel Griffiths who gave the Best Comedy Series award to Ugly Betty (winning over So NoTorious, Desperate Housewives, and The Office). Hottie exec producer Silvio Horta and costar Michael Urie accepted on behalf of the show with castmates including Becki Newton, Judith Light, Ana Ortiz, Rebecca Romijn, Alan Dale, Mark Indelicato, and Eric Mabius taking to the stage with them.
Battlestar Galactica heartthrob Jamie Bamber and Rebecca Romijn boyfriend and Crossing Jordan star Jerry OConnell presented the award for Best TV Drama to Brothers & Sisters (over Hex, The L Word, The Sopranos, and South of Nowhere) and out playwright and show creator Jon Robin Baitz and an adorably charming Matthew Rhys, who plays gay Brother Kevin on the show, accepted on behalf of the show and cast members Dave Annable, Rachel Griffiths, Patricia Wettig, Ron Rifkin, and Balthazar Getty.
Another recently out star, Lance Bass, gave the Stephen F. Kolzcak Award (to honor those who have made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for our community) to tennis legend Martina Navratilova, who talked of how things have changed since she came out in 81: Those hairstyles! Sanjaya has nothing on mebut at least I can play tennis.
Comic and actor (and comic actor) Alec Mapa took to the stage to point out that in fact he wasnt on Entourage, though the shows Rex Lee was in attendance. Mapa also let us know that working on Desperate Housewives was so gay it was like a circuit party with craft services, before reporting that he had just been in D.C. and that the rumors there are that Dubya is freaking as his administration implodes. Somehow, that was the most amusing thing of all Mapa said.
When unbelievably gorgeous Extreme Makeover: Home Edition star Eduardo Xol took to the stage with Wilson Cruz to give the Outstanding Newspaper Coverage Overall Award (in the Spanish-language category) to La Opinion, Cruz was so faux-flummoxed by Xols beauty, Xol finally kissed him so they could move on, making every man in the theater envious of the erstwhile Ricky Vasquez.
On to the more serious moments, Ugly Bettys Judith Light gave an impassioned speech about gay equality and GLAAD president, Neil Giuliano, spoke movingly of how he inspired a cop to come out when he was mayor of Tempe, Ariz.
Oscar winner Ben Affleck (who clarified he had won for screenwriting and not acting) reflected how when he had won the Golden Guy, he remembered finding it harder to believe it was easier for him and Matt to win that than for them to get married. It was no surprise when he named Little Miss Sunshine Best Wide Release Film (over The Night Listener, Running With Scissors, Talladega Nights, and V For Vendetta).
Most of the wins were pretty predictable, as GLAAD generally bestows its awards on the Flavors of the Week, but no one expected Jake Gyllenhaal (minus Reese) to take to the stage calling the crowd cowboys when the response to his appearance was unsurprisingly overwhelming. Dapper and sweet as ever, he was there to present his Good Girl costar Jennifer Aniston with the Vanguard Award, which is basically the straight version of the Stephen F. Kolczak Award. She was charming and had great legs, but really? The Vanguard Award? They cited her appearances in The Good Girl (dont recall any gay themes in that, but I could be wrong) and Friends (which she didnt write and also didnt portray a lesbian) and the fact that she had a highly publicized kiss with her friend Courteney Cox on Coxs FX show, Dirt (which was clearly a ratings stunt). Just seems there must be other, stronger, more vocal straight allies out there, right? We really dont have bigger straight allies than this? Kathy Griffin already has a Vanguard Award? Hilary Swank? Just asking
Other attendees included Stephen Colbert (via video); Brothers & Sisters unbelievably hot Jason Lewis, Maeve Quinlan and Valery Ortiz (from nominated series South of Nowhere); Eva Mendez; Loni Anderson; Greys Anatomy stars Sara Ramirez, Kate Walsh, and Katherine Heigl; J.P. Calderon; Dave Koz; Dave Kopay; Neil Patrick Harris; Ben Patrick Johnson; Shawn Pyfrom, Andrea Bowen, and Joy Lauren of Desperate Housewives; Kim Coles; Garry Marshall; Brittany Snow; former NBA player John Amaechi; and Marlee Matlin, Laurel Holloman, and Rachel Shelley of The L Word.
Other GLAAD Awards were given March 26 in New York and more will be bestowed April 28 in San Francisco and May 10 in Miami.