Cheers for the End of Bush Era at 'Out for Equality'
Our colleague Jose Antonio Vargas reports:
"Can you believe it?" howled Ross Mathews, the outrageous, in-your-face TV personality ("The Tonight Show," "Celebrity Fitness," "The View"). "He's finally gone!"
To the throng of gays and lesbians gathered in downtown Washington, "he" could only be George W. Bush.
Anchored by the Human Rights Campaign, whose headquarters sits just a few blocks from the White House, a coalition of gay rights groups (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, National Black Justice Coalition, PFLAG) are hosting the "Out for Equality" soiree at the grand ballroom of the Mayflower Hotel. It's the marquee event for the gay community tonight, featuring a Who's Who of national leaders amid a crowd of more than 2,300. Tickets were around $350.
Melissa Ethridge is headlining an impressive (and artistically diverse) line-up of entertainers, which includes jazz saxophonist Dave Koz, dance-floor favorite Thelma Houston, cabaret and folk singer Rufus Wainwright and pop icon Cyndi Lauper. Early on, Koz takes the stage with his alto sax and silences the crowd with his piercing rendition of "Amazing Grace" and "America, the Beautiful," dedicated to President Obama.
Potomac Fever, a local gay men's choir, kicked off the festivities, and Mathews -- a.k.a. "Ross the Intern," as he's known on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" -- is emcee.
The music is notable: Perhaps no other ball has a playlist quite like HRC's. Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" is followed by Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack," then ABBA's "Dancing Queen," and -- to the special delight of lesbians in the room, a few in elegant tuxes, Ellen DeGeneres style -- Britney Spears's hit "Womanizer."
In a surprise appearance, Sir Ian McKellan, the Oscar-nominated thespian takes the stage.
"Gorgeous, gorgeous," he says, beaming at the crowd. "You are the cherry on top of my cake."
Posted by: ImpeachObama | January 20, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse
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