In an intimate capper to the 2014/15 awards season, celebrities, industry execs and L.A.-area members of the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA) gathered Sunday at Hollywood’s The Pikey Café and Bar to pop champagne, mingle and toast the group’s annual Dorian Award picks for the finest in TV and film (revealed January 20). In the mix: Transparent star Melora Hardin, Robert Michael Morris of The Comeback, actor and LGBT-rights activist Wilson Cruz, ABC Studios honcho Patrick Moran, TV writer/creator Jordan Budde (Mistresses, The Client List), Space Station 76 producers Bob Hayes and Jim Burba, author Anna David (Party Girl), radio personality Frank DeCaro, revered film critic David Ansen, and Oscar Wilde scholar Joseph Bristow.
A video from Star Trek icon George Takei expressing his gratitude for being named the recipient of GALECA’s latest Timeless Star award – the nationwide organization’s career achievement honor – also delighted attendees.
Hardin, who plays Tammy Cashman, a married lesbian enmeshed in an affair with a married “straight” woman on Amazon’s Transparent, represented the freshman hit in accepting its five Dorians, including TV Comedy of the Year and LGBTQ TV Show of the Year. In a sit-down discussion with emcee Blair Late (Bravo’s Newlyweds: The First Year), Hardin expressed gratitude and pride in being part of a series that helped “humanize” segments of the LGBTQ rainbow. She was also happy to reveal that she and her character will be back for season two of the series, creator Jill Soloway’s fact-inspired story of a man-to-woman transgender (Jeffrey Tambor) who decides to come out to his family and friends
Accepting on behalf of friend Lisa Kudrow (GALECA’s pick for TV Performance of the Year – Actress for her turn as fame-seeker Valerie Cherish on The Comeback) was Robert Michael Morris, memorable as Mickey Deane, Cherish’s gay hairstylist and confidant on the HBO showbiz satire. Morris regaled the crowd reflecting on how he spent 10 years in a monastery before he was plucked from relative obscurity to co-star in The Comeback‘s first incarnation (2005) – and “how surreal” it was to do a follow-up nearly 10 years later. As for another sequel, Morris revealed, “Lisa has said she’d like to do more episodes.”
LGBTQ champions Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami, one of the two couples whose challenge to California’s 2008 ballot proposition to ban same-sex marriage went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, spoke of how they merely followed many brave gay activists who, as Katami noted, “literally risked their lives” to push for gay equality. Their legal battle was followed in HBO’s The Case Against 8, and the now legally married duo praised GALECA’s Documentary of the Year and its filmmakers Ben Cotner and Ryan White for, in Zarrillo’s words, “maxing out their credit cards” to capture a key moment in the history of human rights.
GALECA, a 501 C-6 nonprofit organization, is comprised of over 120 professional entertainment journalists across the U.S.
Founded by Us Weekly Television Critic John Griffiths in 2008, GALECA aims to generate camaraderie in an unsettling media environment, elevate film and TV criticism and entertainment journalism, and remind the world the LGBTQ community has a significant history of enhancing culture at large. And how would the world fare without knowing what was campy?
At the previous year’s GALECA Dorian Awards Winners Toast, Orange is the New Black star Lea Delaria represented that Netflix hit in accepting its Dorian Awards for TV Drama of the Year and LGBT Drama of the Year. Val Lauren, who played Sal Mineo in James Franco’s experimental bioflick Sal and co-starred in Franco’s Interior. Leather Bar, was also on hand to accept the Wilde Artist of the Year Award on behalf of Franco. And Shane Bitney Crone, subject and producer of the acclaimed doc Bridegroom, accepted that film’s Dorian Award for Documentary of the Year.