Prince Gomolvilas

Wanda Sykes, Miss Coco Peru, and the Back of Zachary Quinto's Head: The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Anniversary Gala

Filed By Prince Gomolvilas | October 26, 2009 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Entertainment, Marriage Equality
Tags: Amber Riley, American Airlines, Bruce Vilanch, Chelsea Handler, Clinton Leupp, Glee, Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel, Jane Lynch, Jay Leno, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, Lorri L. Jean, Miss Coco Peru, Nobel Prize, Nordstrom Rack, President Obama, Rick Warren, Sergio Valentino, The Human League, Wanda Sykes, Zachary Quinto

[This post is part of a continuing series about fancy Hollywood parties that I have somehow managed to infiltrate.]

Before heading off to the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center 38th Anniversary Gala & Auction on Saturday, where comedian Wanda Sykes and drag queen Miss Coco Peru were being honored (and where I would eventually spend the evening gazing longingly at the back of Zachary Quinto's head), I went to Nordstrom Rack to find a new tie to go with my black Sergio Valentino pinstripe suit. Shopping at a discount retailer like Nordstrom Rack (which stocks the parent company's hand-me-downs) for accessories to a fine Italian suit is its own kind of sacrilege - but I have always been one to sniff out bargains no matter who or what I might be desecrating.

After rejecting what seemed like hundreds of ties, it came down to two blue ones manufactured by English Laundry. One featured a cartoon Buddha stitched smack dab in the middle of the solid blue; the other featured Chinese language characters. After I wrote an emergency Facebook status update on my mobile phone ("SOS! Can any of you read Chinese?"), my friend Ewan came to the rescue by calling me after I transmitted a photo of the tie in question to him.

PRINCE: What does it say?

EWAN: Blood sausage.

PRINCE: Uh...what?

EWAN: It's not written very well, but it says BLOOD SAUSAGE.

PRINCE: This is the perfect tie for this event!

Here is a picture of my cat Pork Chop modeling the tie (by the way, Pork Chop has his own YouTube page and Facebook page):

pork chop tie.png

Some notes from the evening:

  • Chelsea Handler hosted.
  • American Airlines won the Corporate Vision Award. Bruce Vilanch wrote a really funny video that showed why the company was being re-branded as "Air Fabulous."
  • Young leaders in the LGBT movement in China spoke about how the Center was helping them organize in their home country.
  • Amber Riley from Glee performed after Jane Lynch, via video, introduced her and expressed how much she hated Amber for being so damn young and talented.
  • The Center's Forever Young Chorale showcased seniors doing (questionable) renditions of pop songs like The Human League's "Don't You Want Me?"
  • Zachary Quinto, who sat the the table next to mine, presented his friend Miss Coco Peru (drag performer Clinton Leupp, who you may remember from Trick: "You ever get cum in your eye, Gabriel...? It buuuuuuuuuurns!") with the Board of Directors Award.
  • Jay Leno presented Wanda Sykes with the Rand Schrader Distinguished Achievement Award.

Aside from the fabulous dinner and dessert at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles and aside from the fact that my boyfriend and I won the pop art that we bid on (to support the Center and to pretend that we understand pop art), there were several highlights:

  • The Center's CEO, Lorri L. Jean, gave a passionate, rousing, angry, and hopeful speech that truly made me want to get more involved with the Center and its activities.
  • The two young Chinese organizers may have butchered English in their speeches to the crowd, but they brought me to tears with their deep desire to bring about change in their country. (When the woman declared, "I am a lesbian! I am a lesbian!," I had to bite my tongue to keep from screaming back, "You go, girl!")
  • I have a newfound respect for Jay Leno. I've never been a fan of his show or his comedy, but he displayed a level of self-awareness that I never suspected he had. He knows how "Middle America" his humor is, and he knows who his audience isn't - it was a sort of odd, humble, almost-sad admission of his place in the world, despite the fact that he's sitting on top of a media empire. He also mentioned that on his show he's made jokes at the expense of gays (everyone's equal opportunity in comedy), when it comes to fashion and such, but he has never made light of the necessity for equality, and he definitively vocalized his support for same-sex marriage and for gays serving openly in the military (which he has, apparently, vocalized before). I got choked up a bit.
  • And Wanda Sykes was so goddamn funny she made me cry. While she was a vocal opponent of the passage of California's Proposition 8, Sykes has only been out, publicly, for about a year. After she accepted the award, she said that she felt like President Obama accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. "What the hell have I done?!" she quipped. She also wished that the right-wingers would shut up and go away: "Put them in a balloon!" She then imagined a hilarious scenario of Rick Warren trapped and flying around out of control in a big silver helium aircraft.

No one asked me about my tie. For the love of god, queens, take our eyes off Zachary Quinto for one damn second and notice the other fabulously dressed people around you!


[Crossposted on Bamboo Nation.]

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I wish I could have gone too! I love Wanda Sykes and I don't understand pop art either. It would have been the perfect night.

Bil, I was hoping Neil Patrick Harris would be there so I could make you jealous.

I'll cut you.

Don't mess with the NPH. I aint messing around.

*gives you the stink eye for thinking about NPH*

Just so you know: Pork Chop's videos nearly swallowed up my entire afternoon...they're hilarious!

Thanks, Yasmin, I will pass the note along to Pork Chop. He will surely appreciate it!

pass my contact info off to ZQ. He doesn't know it, but he's my husband. We need to just expedite this and get together now.

'Woulda' liked to have been there... the pocket book couldn't come u with 300 bux but I am glad that a great time was had for all! I would have loved to have seen some of those speeches and performances. =)