It’s a bit low-rent. That was the first comment to be heard as we peered into the space set out for the Sydney Star Observer Pride Week Awards upstairs at the Midnight Shift.
Well, it definitely had all the hallmarks of a 50s school dance, right down to the rose centrepieces on each table (which were all stolen by a well known dance party supremo’s date at the end of the night). It could have been lame but low-rent turned out to be enormous fun -“ as it so often does.
Shauna Jensen was delivered on stage by a spaceship to belt out Pride -“ A Deeper Love. It was such a good rendition that most of the dykes were bobbing their heads and the boys were just itching to get their shirts off.
Before anyone could push back the tables for a spot of disco dancing, Portia Turbo and (Dallas Cowboys cheerleader) Opal each took up a mike and had the proceedings moving along at a cracking pace.
Portia put on a stern expression and told the nominees to keep their speeches short and sweet.
If you win an award, don’t speak for too long. We’re quite interested that you won but not in what you have to say, she told the assembled hopefuls.
The glamorous comperes then introduced Marcello, the beefcake barrel boy in charge of the perspex awards, before Angel from Mogenic was invited on stage to present Young Achiever Of The Year and Quiet Achiever Of The Year.
Aaron Gay from Twenty10 took out the award for Young Achiever but he was quite modest in his acceptance. Maybe because the baby-faced fundraising manager is in fact 29!
Keeping his usual low profile, David Buchanan wasn’t there to accept his Quiet Achiever award but AJ from Mojo (as Portia called him) graciously accepted it from the muscle-bound barrel boy, smiling widely for the pictures.
Arthur Chesterfield-Evans was next up on the stage to accept his award for Community Supporter. Ignoring Portia’s command completely, the politician went into Question Time mode and had to be clapped off the stage three times before he took the award back to his table.
He did, however, mention that he first learned about homosexuality from attending an all-boys boarding school, which made the audience roar with laughter.
As expected, Justice Michael Kirby won Outstanding Community Member but, unfortunately, BGF’s latest patron wasn’t present to pick up his piece of perspex.
Lance Leopard made his first public appearance since his terrible accident to award Ankali with Community Group Of The Year and the under-18s dance party, Velocity, with Most Innovative Community Event. Just hearing Lance say drug- and alcohol-free was enough to have the crowd in stitches.
Funny girl Shelley Silberman accepted the award for Sexiest Female with her usual dry wit.
Sexy? Was it plucking my facial hair before I came tonight? Mmm, sexy. Was it my five-pack of Target men’s underwear? Mmm, sexy.
Stuart Borrie was a lot more low-key about taking out the gong for Sexiest Male, telling the crowd that he was going to cop even more hell from his colleagues over the win.
Then the adorable Lou-Anne Lind from Pride got up to present Vanessa Wagner with the coveted Hall of Fame award. Unfortunately Wagner couldn’t get her fabulous Wonderbra-enhanced self to the ceremony, so Lou-Anne happily posed with the beefcake in her place.
No low-rent night of madness could be over without some good-looking babes getting their kit off. So Marcello generously brought a friend out on stage for a terribly sexy show where the main feature was Trudi Valentine’s bare ass. After seeing that, who the hell needs Kylie Minogue?