"Transamerican Love Story" Ties For "Outstanding Reality Series" at 2009 GLAAD Media Awards

"Transamerican Love Story" Ties For "Outstanding Reality Series" at 2009 GLAAD Media Awards

Calpernia, Laverne Cox and Michelle Clunie

Wow, what a weekend! As good Cal-pals know, “Transamerican Love Story” was nominated by the 2009 GLAAD Media Awards for “Outstanding Reality Program”. GLAAD divides the awards into three ceremonies, one in LA, one in New York and one in San Francisco. This year, the reality awards were being given out in San Francisco, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make the trip for various work related reasons. But at the last minute, things opened up and before I knew it, I was on my way to the city by the bay with two brand new Richard Bowman/Xavier Othon gowns in my bag. YAY!

GLAAD Media Awards” href=”http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3383/3519805489_5777599ce5.jpg”>Calpernia Addams in Richard Bowman Gown at 2009 <a href=GLAAD Media Awards” width=”75″ height=”100″ /> glaad2009_calpernia_neil_guliano glaad2009_calpernia_redcarpet glaad2009_calpernia_redcarpet02 glaad2009_calpernia Flights were delayed, so I ended up getting into San Francisco with just enough time to “beat my mug” and “snatch my hair”, as the kids say, ha ha. Then it was downstairs and into the red carpet/VIP Pre-reception. I met lots of cool GLAAD supporters and ran into lots of old friends.

GLAAD Media Awards” href=”http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3632/3519805703_2671a8984a.jpg”>Wilson Cruz and Calpernia Addams at the 2009 <a href=GLAAD Media Awards” width=”75″ height=”100″ />
Wilson Cruz & Calpernia

Then it was time to go sit down for the silent auction and dinner. I was sitting at a table with the delectable Wilson Cruz, yay! And dreamy Chad Allen was at the table in front of me. They raised lots of money for GLAAD. Chelsey Handler was a hilarious MC, and the full special guest list included (me), Megan Cavanagh, Gabrielle Christian, Michelle Clunie, Laverne Cox, Wilson Cruz, Robert Gant, Dan Jinks, Jason Lewis, Gavin Newsom, Suze Orman, Maeve Quinlan, Simon Rex, Eduardo Xol and Judge David Young.

When my category came, I was feeling pretty anxious. It’s not that I thought I deserved the prize above everyone else or anything, but just being in the position of waiting to hear the result was a lot more intensely stressful than I thought it would be. Previously, when I’ve been fortunate enough to receive an award like the Peabody or NGLTF Leadership award, it was something I knew about beforehand so the whole evening was just about enjoying the experience. This took me back to my pageant days, standing there waiting to see who got the crown.

2009 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Reality Series: Transamerican Love Story
Teh W1nnarz!

Cal-pal Michelle Clunie (from “Queer as Folk”) and the delightful Megan Cavanagh (from “A League of Their Own”) were presenting the “Outstanding Reality Series” category, and I was thinking that it would be sweet to receive the award from them if “Transamerican Love Story” won. They started reading the winner: “The award goes to… ‘I Want to Work for Diddy’…” and I instantly thought, “Oh Ok we didn’t get it” and felt relieved that it was over, but she continued speaking, “… AND ‘Transamerican Love Story’!!!” I was shocked, and thought maybe she was joking at first because we were friends. I sat there for a few seconds, started to get up, looked around, and finally figured out that our two shows had BOTH won the category in a tie! I went up along with the sweetheart Laverne Cox, the trans woman from “I Want to Work for Diddy”, excited and thrilled. In one of those “anything can happen at an awards show” moments, “Transamerican Love Story” bachelor Jim Howley hopped up and also joined us on stage. He had come to the event with his adorable new girlfriend, and had some things he wanted to add to the acceptance remarks for the show.

Calpernia & Megan Cavanagh After Laverne finished speaking, I thanked Brian Graden and Dave Mace at Logo, Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey and the World of Wonder crew, and the show participants. I remarked on how I had called GLAAD myself almost exactly 10 years ago looking ro help in navigating a media firestorm, and that I was so happy to be here now for an entertainment project.

GLAAD Media Awards” href=”http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3383/3519806585_4e7e49e414.jpg”>Leola Westbrook, Laverne Cox and Calpernia Addams at the 2009 <a href=GLAAD Media Awards” width=”75″ height=”100″ /> GLAAD Media Awards” href=”http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3412/3520618708_8f337721c4.jpg”>Laverne Cox and Calpernia Addams and the 2009 <a href=GLAAD Media Awards” width=”100″ height=”75″ /> As the night moved on, a man next to me got more and more tipsy, until at a certain point he tapped me on the shoulder, looked at my (admittedly chipped) blue nail polish and asked, “What color is that supposed to be?” I was completely at ease after the departure of my pageant nerves, and amused at his drunk rudeness, so I went along with it and said, “Robin’s Egg Blue.” As expected, he responded with something catty along the lines of, “Well it doesn’t suit you! Ha ha ha (glug)” I was like, “Well, it’s a bit fashion forward for older eyes, but the kids like it.” Then, in the middle of Chad Alan’s heartfelt speech closing out the evening, just as Chad was making an emotional declaration of love for his boyfriend, “Tipsy” yelled out, “Why don’tcha ask `im to marry you! Ha ha ha (glug glug)”. Putting that relationship question on the table in front of a huge room full of people in the middle of a heartfelt speech wouldn’t have been my course of action, to say the least. Oh, Tipsy! You’ve done it again! (Sad trombone sound).

I was completely not bummed out or hurt by his silliness… I guess winning an award makes one a little emotionally immune to zings and bringdowns for a while, so I just smiled. I was still riding on a cloud of euphoria when I slipped away to change shoes in my room upstairs. The elevator going up was full, so I waved it on and took the next one. Apparently, a couple on that first elevator had gotten off at my floor just before me, because they were walking down a very, very long hallway about 6 rooms ahead of me. The conversation went as follows, my thoughts in green:

Husband: “Damn, it’s queer central here tonight.” (Uh oh, haterz. Maybe I should hang way back, since I’m painted for the back row and dressed to the nines.)

Wife: “That one with red hair… looked like she should have been named Gladys. Parents probably beat that one every night.” (“Gladys”? Well, Ok…)

Husband: “If they didn’t, they should have.” (I admit, I chuckled at that one)

Wife: “Did you see those two GIRLS?! Horrible. Ha ha ha”

I was still feeling confident and mildly stunning, so I didn’t hang back, and when they paused at their door they turned and were able to see that I’d been behind them the whole way. As I continued past, I said in a calm, pleasant voice, “You are horrible human beings”, smiled and continued to my room. The wife stumbled a little as she entered their room, and they didn’t respond.

I changed shoes and went downstairs to the afterparty, where I got to chat with Dustin Lance Black for a little bit. He’s a sweetheart. Then I went and changed into jeans and a trampy low-cut top to accompany Wilson to The Clifts for an after-after party, where I was treated to delicious Cosmopolitans by their charming man-in-charge of celebrity relations.

Finally it was back to my room, off to dreamland, then back to Hollywood. Yay! Again, I have to thank Brian Graden, Dave Mace, Pam Post and everyone at Logo, Andrew Oldershaw (formerly of Logo), Randy and Fenton and all the amazing people at World of Wonder, Joe del Hierro, Tom Campbell, Lisa Sherman, Julio Kollerbom and Sara Jandrain, Andrea James for being the best supportive friend, Alec Mapa, Autumn Scruggs, Desirae Cherman, and of course the brave guys who went out on a limb to have a little fun with me. There were so many people who made the show so wonderful, if I’ve forgotten anyone please drop a note in the comments or by email and I’ll add it to this list. Thank you!

Oh, and for completeness’ sake, here’s my video made upon finding out about the nomination:


0 thoughts on “"Transamerican Love Story" Ties For "Outstanding Reality Series" at 2009 GLAAD Media Awards”

  1. Congratulations on winning the GLAAD Media Award, Calpernia!!!

    You didn't win a boyfriend after Transamerican Love Story ended, but at least you won another nice trophy that you can put next to your Peabody Award, your military medals, and all of the other cool trophies and awards you have earned over the years! =)

  2. you looked great…don't understand why an also-ran contestant would bum rush the stage but i hope he has other things in his life now that his ticking is almost over ….14:57, 14:58, 14:59…

  3. Congratulations you coug! It was great meeting you and spending some time with you in the Redwood Room. We are all here in SFO to take care of this climbing star.

  4. Dear Calpernia

    Just had to take time to drop you a line of congratulations for the win.
    I was glad to see and chat with you and so proud of all of you for giving us such a wonderful show.
    You all deserved that grand reward.

    And of course you might have known that Jim would want to be there with you. He was ever so proud
    also, he couldn't help himself. Thought he had some great comments also.

    I spent 10 days visiting with he and Clair. I came away with a calm feeling in my heart that Jim and Clair
    will soon be starting on a new adventure – together. Jim will be moving to SF in August. She's lived there for some time and knows the area so she will be able to help him with the job search. I am so happy for both of them.

    Again, Congratulations and I wish you only the best in life..

    Diane Howley

    1. Thank you, Diane. As silly and fun as the show was, it came as a result of a lot of planning, hard work and negotiations by the team, and also as a result of the bravery of Jim and the other contestants to put themselves out there. Jim is an angel, and I'm so happy that he has found a nice girl like Clair. I learned a lot about myself from doing "Transamerican Love Story", and processing the experience over the last year. I think I am still a little too complicated and chaotic to be a good girlfriend, which is something I didn't understand as well then. I wish all of you the best in the world!

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