Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2009 Emery Awards & The 30th Anniversary of The Hetrick-Martin Institute at Cipriani

Last week I had the honor of being the guest of my friend Jeremy C. Bradley at the 2009 Emery Awards & The 30th Anniversary of The Hetrick-Martin Institute held at New York's Cipriani's on Wall Street. Jeremy and I have been making plans to meet and chat for the last two years...lol...but we have never been able to mesh our schedules. So I was honored that he asked me to attend. I don't know what he told them about me but his people knew who I was the moment I walked up and the helped me navigate through the crowd quickly.

What are The Emery Awards?: Each year, The Emery Awards honor individuals and corporations that exemplify The Hetrick-Martin Institute’s mission of providing a safe and supportive environment for all young people - regardless of their sexual orientation or identity - as well as those who have demonstrated outstanding leadership within the LGBTQ community.

What is The Hetrick-Martin Institute? We're proud to be the oldest and largest organization helping gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth to reach their full potential. Like many leaders, we were trailblazers. In 1979, life partners and educators on gay and lesbian issues, Dr. Emery Hetrick, a psychiatrist, and Dr. Damien Martin, a professor at New York University, heard the heartbreaking story of a homeless 15-year-old boy who had been beaten and thrown out of his emergency shelter because he was gay. They were so moved that they gathered a group of concerned adults and created what was then called the Institute for the Protection of Lesbian and Gay Youth (IPLGY) to assist this group of young people who desperately needed support. In 1988, the organization was renamed The Hetrick-Martin Institute in honor of its founders and their lifelong commitment to service.

This year’s event was hosted by Kimora Lee Simmons, and honored Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Harvey Milk High School Co-Founder Dr. Joyce Hunter.

Rosie O’Donnell and Newark Mayor Cory Booker presented the awards, and Jennifer Holliday performed. (lol...well I didn't actually SEE Rosie O'Donnell) but I DID see B.D. Wong groping Judy Gold's ass on the red carpet...lol
(November 9, 2009 - Photo of Jennifer Holliday by Larry Busacca/Getty Images North America)

I gotta tell you fam! This event was a whole lot of fun! This was my first time at Cipriani's on Wall Street and the room was beautifully set up. I hadn't seen Jeremy since we met initially at Ashley Stewart's Butterfly Bra Event a few years ago and I was excited to see him again.

The dinner was absolutely delicious..I think the fish I had was sea bass wrapped in a zucchini strip topped with some sort of tomato salsa (?) and served it with a butternut squash risotto...The fish was cooked perfectly and I have never had butternut squash risotto before
(I will admit it sounded disgusting to me..lol) but it was really good!!
Jennifer Holliday provided the entertainment and she sang the hell out of "And I Am Telling You" and "I Am Changing"...she TOTALLY ripped it to shreds! There was a brief but beautiful fashion presentation from some of the students from The Hetrick-Martin Institute aka The Harvey Milk High School. The room was filled with beautiful gay boys and girls who were dressed to the nines. I was seated at a table filled with executives from Macy's and two other women who like me, were not affiliated but just wanted to support a great cause...they were a delight to be with and I enjoyed talking to them for most of the night. I cracked up at the two of them trying to hook me up with Newark Mayor Cory Booker (who is MOST DEFINITELY a cutie!)

Let me tell you something else....I watched comedienne Judy Gold help them (The Hetrick Martin Institute) raise their monetary goal of $500,000 for the evening in LESS THAN 20 MINUTES!!!

(November 9, 2009 - Photo of Judy Gold by Larry Busacca/Getty Images North America)
I was completely awestruck! That was the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life!! YO!!!!! NOW THAT'S HOW YOU DO THE DAMN THING!!!!

One of the highlights of my evening was overhearing Kimora talking about a "trick who stole her shoes..." friggin' hilarious! She looked beautiful by the way and was even kind enough to take a moment to chat with The Runway Diva....

I hung out with my new friends at the after party upstairs where the music was awesome (folks were on the dance floor with hula hoops...I kid you not!) but because of continuing problems with my knees & back, I had to enjoy it from the sidelines.

I had a couple more glasses of bubbly before I decided to head back uptown....I said good night to my friends and we made promises to all get together for dinner real soon....

Jeremy!! Thank you so much for the invite! I had an absolute ball and I can't wait till we can do it again soon!

Click HERE for more info on The Hetrick Martin Institute

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

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