When an organization like GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) holds its annual awards show in San Francisco — as it did on June 10, when it handed out accolades for a few scant crumbs of positive gay media representation, which range from straight famous actors who dare to play gay to “Outstanding Spanish-Language Newspaper Article” — you might expect to see a gala reception for local leaders and queer artists in addition to the dull C- and D-list celebrities the organization seems to love. Not so. To wit: While getting tipsy in the press room at this year's GLAAD Media Awards, I overheard S.F.'s openly gay treasurer, Jose Cisneros, politely ask one of the event organizers if he could walk the red carpet. He was quickly shot down. Ouch.
The lackey manning the red carpet press line told Cisneros that event organizers don't allow civic leaders to strut the rug (although I doubt that that would've been the case if, say, Mayor Gavin Newsom, icon for the gay community, had made an appearance). This awkward exchange pointed out how underrepresented local homosexuals were at a show honoring gay representation.
Sure, the city's safest drag queen, Donna Sachet, and a gay cable-access TV show host named Tim Gaskin were there, but where were better known and infinitely more important queer artists like Juanita MORE!, Matmos, and Heklina, to name a few? “I have never been invited,” Heklina says. And although I wouldn't expect some of our more subversive and significant talent to come to such a formal affair — it was held at the Marriott, and featured your typical catered chicken or vegetarian dishes, decent red and white wines flowing freely, men (and a few women) sporting pricey tuxedos, and women (and a very few men) donning formal gowns — I don't know of a single tranny or musician who'd turn down free booze. (Hell, it wasn't even as stuffy as I expected, especially after one major TV star asked me if, by chance, I had a bump of coke to spare.) At the end of the show, I was glad (heh) to leave that self-congratulatory scene, wishing I'd spent the night honoring local gays by getting trashed with them over at the Cinch or the Hole in the Wall.