Emceeing the Gill Foundation's OutGiving Conference in Lake Las Vegas was like being in a three-day graduate seminar on LGBT philanthropy. We heard great talks by the Gill's executive director Tim Sweeney and its founder Tim Gill and the ACLU's Antony Romero. We heard a great panel with our allies: Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richard, NAACP's Benjamin Jealous, AARP's Dr. E. Percil Stanford and the NEA's John Stocks. We also heard from LGBT funders and grantees from the local community center level to the state, national and international level.
Really tactical, brilliant and adorable gay wonks presented the latest statistics about the LGBT community so funders could make informed choices for their giving. It totally schwinged my inner wonk. Like everyone else, LGBT philanthropists' portfolios are down, but their continuing commitment to funding is not. It was an honor to be with them as they discussed new collaborative investment strategies for the biggest philanthropic impact. It was an exhilarating conference.
Next it was off to give a talk at UPenn's Diversity Week. UPenn has one of the oldest LGBT centers in the country. I think it might have been started by Ben Franklin's lesbian niece, but don't quote me. The student leaders were completely take charge and inspiring. They had originally asked for a 90-minute show, but then requested a 45-minute performance and a 40-minute lecture with a Q&A. Since I often can't make the distinction between serious and comic, the audience opted for the combo platter so it was a bit of LGBT history, my personal history, with Q&A aka heckling. It was great fun.
Then I rented a car and drove out to Adelphi University on Long Island to do a lecture. Have I told you how much I love GPS? It was Women's Recognition Week and Adelphi's Student Activities had planned lots of events: a women's self-defense class, a spa day [unfortunately not the day I was there] and a Women's Recognition dinner honoring women students, administrators and faculty for their contribution to campus life. My talk was about using comedy as a force for social change. After my remarks the students brought me up to speed about what and who they think is funny. I took notes! Who knew from Robot Chickens?
Through no fault of my own, my personal performance portfolio is highly diversified - lecture, stand-up, writing, guest TV appearances, vlogging and blogging. It feels as if I did a little of each in the last seven days, ending with emceeing the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards here in New York. It was tres glam as always and a pleasure to see old pals Judith Light, David Mixner and GLAAD's executive director Neil Guiliano. The dinner is a huge endeavor and it would not be possible without the huge number of wonderful volunteers that are inspired by the work the organization does to celebrate the year's positive media portrayals of our LGBT community. The free vodka and the after-party help too.
And not for nuthin' I just got a copy of my new book, I Told You So, hot off the Beacon press. The book and the audio CD read by moi will be available soon. It looks beautiful though my girlfriend thinks the cover is too pink for me. I tell her it's pink with butch rising.