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A recap of my evening at The Legacy Awards honoring Sean Hayes, Jill Soloway and Freeform

It’s been a few years since I’ve attended The Legacy Awards which benefits the Outfest UCLA Archives Legacy Project.

It’s gone from a standard awards show at The Orpheum Theatre to a more exclusive, high-end dinner at Vibiana downtown.

I’d missed the first few years in this new format but am so glad I was able to attend this year (thanks Jim and Keith!) because it is a really special evening.

Mingling in the courtyard while having wine and appetizers was wonderful – until the rain came.

We were all moved to the bar inside and it was cozier and darker. I was with my friends Stephen and Paul when I spotted Boys Don’t Cry director Kimberly Peirce nearby and decided to sneak a photo of her.

Did not realize my flash would go off.

Busted.

After the show she walked by me and swatted me on the behind and we had a laugh.

The wine and other booze from the open bar had been flowing for well over an hour – closer to 90 minutes – by the time we were seated for dinner. So plenty of people were plenty sauced by then judging from the volume of the chatter and that a woman in the group next to our did not seem to notice or care that she was literally leaning into me, backwards.

At the next table was Noah’s Arc star Darryl Stephens who is so talented and who I think the world of.

The evening was hosted by Harry Shum Jr. who was very charming and funny but unfortunately the room just could not settle down throughout his opening.

It was like the Golden Globes are during commercial breaks.

But at The Globes, the crowd behaves – mostly- when someone is one stage.

This crowd did not.

But Harry soldiered on amid the din and didn’t complain: ‘The Q in LGBTQ stands for questioning. I always thought it meant quickies.’

The same cannot be said of presenter Dax Shepard who was there to give the Trailblazer Award to his friend Sean Hayes.

Just as Dax began speaking, he noticed the servers being sent out.

‘Let’s bring out the entrees while I present,’ he said a bit sarcastically. ‘Anybody got any fireworks? Symbols?’

But he quickly got back on track and paid a moving and heartfelt tribute to Hayes.

He also joked: ‘I did not know until tonight that Sean was gay. It shines a different light on the time we made love. I thought we were doing a bit.’

When Hayes got on stage, he began with a joke thanking ‘my amazing wife Portia de Rossi.

He then asked the crowd what he should be for Halloween.

‘Do I go again as (Fox News anchor) Shepard Smith? I’ve had that costume in my closet for years.’ (Smith only recently came out of the closet publicly).

Hayes went on to give an honest, moving speech that was just right. I posted about it earlier HERE.

Sherri Saum of The Fosters and Shay Mitchell of Pretty Little Liars participated in the presentation of the Corporate Trailblazer Award to Freeform for LGBT-friendly shows including Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters and Shadowhunters.

Then Transparent cast members Amy Landecker and Jeffrey Tambor spoke about Visionary Award recipient Jill Soloway, the creator of their show.

Emmy winner Tambor said of his transgender role: ‘I thought i was going to go out playing Lear but I guess it’s Maura Pfefferman. It’s better, right?’

He later said: ‘We thank you Jill – thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You’ve change the playing field.’

Soloway thanked her father for coming out as a transgender woman at age 72 and alluded to own coming out recently as bisexual.

‘I got recruited by the queer people,’ she joked. ‘It is catching as it turns out.’

But her bigger message was this: ‘I want to take a stand for no secrets. … Every single time one person comes out there’s more freedom.’

@seanhayes discussing his journey as an actor and gay man at the #LegacyAwards2016

A photo posted by Outfest (@outfest) on


@jillsoloway accepting the Visionary Award at the #LegacyAwards2016

A photo posted by Outfest (@outfest) on

FILE UNDER: Awards, Outfest

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