A drag queen, a femme photographer and a Canadian model were among the recipients of this year’s Pride Awards, held last Saturday at the Pride Centre in Erskineville Town Hall.
Ian Jopson won most outstanding community member for his ongoing fundraising efforts, which included raising over US$17,000 in the 2004 New York AIDS Walk.
The national vice-president of AFAO Bill Whittaker was inducted into the Hall of Fame, for more than 20 years of work in the field of HIV/AIDS. Like Jopson, he urged young people to get more involved in their community.
Murray Hood and Shane Janek were recognised as young people who had heeded this call, as co-winners of young achiever of the year. Hood was awarded for his work producing events for queer youth with the Velocity organisation, while Janek’s success as Courtney Act was also given a nod.
Pride co-president Lou-Anne Lind told Sydney Star Observer the organisation made a small profit on the event, which will go towards the upkeep of the Pride Centre.
I thought it was a really great opportunity to showcase the centre to the community -¦ and I think it was a space people could identify more with, particularly in terms of getting the message out there that this is what you fund Pride to do -“ to keep these spaces going and to house these sorts of groups, Lind said.
Other winners included the ACON Safe Sex Sluts and Drug Rovers, who won most outstanding community group, while Bingay was awarded most innovative community event.
Quiet achiever of the year went to Tim Young for his efforts with the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service and Twenty10, while the lord mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, won community supporter of the year to the sound of wild applause from the crowd.
The night was not without controversy. Although the crowd cheered in support of John Howard being awarded villain of the year, there were angry outbursts when Tanya Plibersek and Mark Latham were announced as nominees for community supporter of the year, as the pair recently voted against gay marriage as part of an ALP block.
Sexiest male was won by coverboy George Moneta (who has returned to Canada) and sexiest female was presented to Star photographer Ann-Marie Calilhanna, who said that sexiness came from within.
In between awards the crowd was entertained by performances by Brown Skin and Claire de Lune and her boys, as well as an astonishing medley by Mystique Jewel which included a wig change and a fan (for that wind-blown look).
Drag king Sexy Galexy hosted and performed a hilarious reworking of John Travolta’s strut from Saturday Night Fever while on a walking machine. Co-hosts Portia Turbo, Kate Monroe and Claire de Lune also ensured an evening of equal parts glamour and grassroots.