The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community put the pomp of the royal wedding to shame on Monday, May 23rd. A veritable who’s who of LGBT Academy of Recording Arts (LARA) members, artists and supporters set Irving Plaza’s 15th street façade ablaze during the red carpet extravaganza that took place prior to the 7th Annual OUTMUSIC Awards (OMA).
Amidst the bustiers, sparkling platform stilettos, and matching pet/owner tuxedos—Frank Rogala, who was nominated in the OUTstanding Producer category, hoped to take his Beau Brummelly Chi-Poo Charlie up on stage with him to accept the award. Looks like he’ll have to wait until next year as Rachael Sage won for “Hope’s Outpost”—Sonic Eclectic’s very own Charlie the Brit., hardly had time to straighten his canary yellow lapel before forging into the melee.
SE managed to steal a moment of Ashley Love’s time before the show. Miss Love, the host of MTV/Logo’s ‘LGB to the T’, an on-line ‘edu-tainment’ series, gave the ceremonies opening dialog. We spoke with DJ StereOtype, an OMA virgin who noted, I don’t want to be a straight tranny.” This to explain Timberlands, skirt and wife beater with the words “Art Fag” painted in red across the chest. Oh so many fascinating people did we meet, including OMA’s CFO Miram DeLaurenio who noted that she was holding out for the evening’s final performance from self-proclaimed “erotic/adult” artist Raye 6.
The energy inside was palpable. An unspoken air of warmth, love and acceptance permeated the iconic ballroom. Melissa Etheridge was given the Lifetime Achievement Award and offered her thanks via a pre-recorded, heartfelt message. Technical glitches aside, a vibrant 73-year-old Paula “Stix” Hampton accepted the “Living Legend Award,” presented to her by Jazz artist Antoinette Montague. Following a rendition of “Just In Time” that earned her a standing ovation, Paula jovial quipped, “It was a long time coming!”
The second presenters to the stage were Shaynee Rainbolt and Avi Wisnia. Wisnia won in the OUTstanding Jazz song category for which Rainbolt was nominated as well. The presenters were there to introduce Rainbolt’s partner Terese Genecco who belted out “If I Was a Boy.”
Deepa Soul brought up a whole arsenal of help for her pre-intermission performance which celebrated the homeless youth organization, Reciprocity Foundation. She had a 6-piece string section, several backup singers and a spoken word performer who recited the line “I know only what I can test, experience, witness, critique and judge for my goddamn self,” from his poem “Systematic Thinking.”
The 8th annual OMA’s have some pretty tall platform pumps to fill!