Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bloggers honored at 2009 Courage Awards - The NYC Anti-Violence Project

The 2009 Courage Awards were an inspiring event, and it was humbling to be honored as one of the citizen journalists (the glamour word for bloggers, don'tcha know, since we didn't have PJs on). For an organization that handles calls 24/7 in support of those who need some place to turn to when they are the victim of bias crimes, the NYC Anti-Violence Project should be hailed for its essential work for the community.

NYC AVP Courage Awards Blogger Acceptance Speech

Bil Browning (The Bilerico Project), Joe Jervis (Joe.My.God.), Andy Towle (Towleroad), and Pam Spaulding (Pam's House Blend). Award presented by Michelangelo Signorile.

As prepared, November 9, 2009 (Andy Towle); delivered by Pam Spaulding.

Because crimes against LGBT people are seldom reported on a national basis, and covered mostly in local papers, if at all, we have a valuable opportunity to raise awareness about how severe and widespread these crimes are, and the frequency at which they occur. As one of the few forums, and perhaps the most effective, that exist right now to communicate these crimes to other gay people and our heterosexual allies, we can inspire them to take action.

We will never stop standing up for my fellow LGBT citizens when they are struck down by hate, and never ease the pressure on those who would choose to strike us down, whether by words or by fists. Whether it be a young trans woman in Colorado referred to as "it" by a lover she thought she trusted and struck down in a rage, or a bar goer who beats a gay man with his fist to the surface of a parking lot late at night after a night of drinking in South Carolina, or a man who decides he doesn't like the look of a lesbian couple in Provincetown so he decides to push them through a plate glass window, or two deadbeats in Laramie, Wyoming who decide to mete justice on a young gay man by beating him and leaving him to die on a frigid fence, we will continue to report each and every story.

We are humbled and challenged by the ability to communicate the amount of information we have regarding hate crimes to such a wide audience, and we will continue to be vigilant in my continuing coverage of violence against the LGBT community. It's a vigilance that would not be possible without my fellow bloggers Andy, Joe, and Bil. We cast a wide net and I am proud to be honored alongside them.
Also honored this evening was Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, who delivered a humorous, engaging speech (I'll have the transcript soon).


BTW, Tony Kushner also delivers wonderful spontaneous bear hugs, since I was almost tackled by him while I was videotaping actor B.D. Wong as he was finishing up his intro just before presenting the award to Kushner. (reason: he was enthusiastic after the acceptance speech (mostly written by Andy Towle, btw) I delivered. You can catch the amusing POV bowl-over on the right as my camera tilts wildly; on the left is B.D. Wong's introduction.


One of the highlights of the evening for me was to have my pic taken with B.D. Wong since Kate and I are addicts of L&O: SVU. I managed to get two shots with him, one before and one after I delivered the acceptance speech for the group. Those shots are below the fold. 

But of course I wasn't the only fan...(Joe and Bil joined in the fun as well):


The full image and video gallery is here. A slideshow: