Saturday, December 12, 2009
The 2009 Out Music Awards
Once again, the time came on Tuesday night to honor outstanding achievements by entertainers from our own LGBT community. The annual Out Music Awards were held at Webster Hall in New York City. It is always a special thing to see our community come out to recognize our artists in an official and symbolic manner. This year, the OMA's, headed by executive director Diedra Meredith began with a Red Carpet which showcased all the magnificent talent the LGBT community offers. Flasbulbs were popping as our stars of sight and song entered Webster Hall for their night of basking in the limelight. Making certain everything went smoothly was The FUTURE's own Waddie Grant who worked tirelessly to pull everything together. Waddie was a big reason the OMA's happened, and I was thoroughly impressed with his businesslike, no-nonsense demeanor. Another FUTURE personality who brought the OMA's to us was Rick Pelzer, and the Lil' Mogul made everything shine.
Follwing the Red Carpet came the Pre-Show hosted by Shirts And Skins star DeMarco Majors and comedienne Julie Goldman. Before a packed room, they made the first award presentations of the evening, among them Best R & B Artist, which was won by Nhojj, who also performed "Love Is" later in the show. There was plenty of press coverage, including video crews from LGBT TV and The Rainbow Collective. The OMA's will also be broadcast in their entirety on the gay/lesbian LOGO network. Reporters from every conceivable LGBT magazine, newspaper, and blog were also out in force.
There were so many familiar faces among the nominees and presenters, including Kevin Aviance (the Lifetime Achievement Award winner), Village Voice columnist Michael Musto, Da Doo-Dirty radio host DJ Baker, performance artist and ballroom notable Lee Soulja, plus Christopher Street TV creator and FUTURE series Dating Dwight star Dwight Allen O'Neal and his CSTV cast. It was like "old home week" as I reconnected with many friends I'd not heard from in a while, as well as those I see all the time. I was overcome with a sense of the richness our community brings to the arts, and to be under one roof with so many wonderful creative people was a lifetime moment. After the Pre-Show ended, I was shown upstairs to the VIP balcony, where we had a great vantage point for all the festivities.
The Master Of Ceremonies for the OMA's was the irrepressible actor and comedian Reginald L. Barnes whose deep, commanding voice had everybody paying attention. Our hosts were Rodney Chester who played Alex on the LOGO series Noah's Arc and longtime political humorist Kate Clinton. There were musical performances by various artists and groups, and a stunning suspended-wire ceiling dance that mesmerized the full house. Following the Awards, an afterparty was held at the Grace Hotel in Midtown, in a duplex lounge, complete with swimming pool! It was there that I had my LOGO moment with Kevin Aviance (!), and enjoyed the opportunity to party and network with all the "industry people". I salute all the OMA winners and nominees, as well as the fantastic OMA staff who labored so long to make our night a memorable one. It was our music, our night, our time.
Photos: Taylor Siluwe