The ACLU 2012 Bill of Rights awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. I sat with my lawyers Barry Litt and Peter Eliasberg.
We ate stewed pear salad, grilled chicken and for dessert they served a strange, solid cake.
During the dinner they projected various videos describing the work they do for Homeless Veterans, Immigrants Rights, The LGBTQ community.
Of course the work I have been contributing to was just part of what was projected. I was incredibly proud to be asked to stand in front of the 1000 or so people and introduce myself.
Will Ferrell, Jay Roach, Ermin Chemerinsky and Jane Lynch all spoke beautifully on behalf of the ACLU and their various causes and friends.
During the interval both Usher (the singer) and Scooter Braun (2 million twitter followers) took the time to introduce themselves and congratulate me.
Of course, as usual, not one gay person, including honoree Jane Lynch made themselves known to me. The chasm that exists between me and the gay community in LA was even more evident than usual at this event.
Only last week the gay ‘director’ Guy Shalem texted me telling me that I deserved to be in jail… mocking the time that I had spent there, telling me that I only had friends I made in jail.
Guy Shalem is a gay Israeli fame-whore who lives in Los Angeles. I met him at some grimy gay party in the Hollywood Hills last year and he subsequently invited me to Griffith Park for a walk the following day.
The conversation on the mountain centered around his visa problems, his inability to make relationships work, his celebrity friends and his desire for younger boys.
He complained that Outfest were sniffy about his short film. When I saw it I understood why. “Bruce Vilanch is in it.” He boasted, “They should love it.”
After all, he’s obsessed with celebrity… why shouldn’t Outfest?
So, it was mildly shocking to see Guy at the ACLU event. Wearing a bad suit and even worse shoes.
He had seen the video lauding the work we are all doing for those held on spurious ICE holds.
He heard the applause I received when they asked me to stand.
He heard Hector Villagra, head of the ACLU talking publicly about my personal bravery and commitment to the ACLU.
Guy is the perennial plus one to any gay celebrity. Last night, yet again, he was with Jane Lynch. He saw me, headed toward me and shook my hand. Apparently forgetting the vile things he said last week.
I told him in no uncertain terms how and what I felt about him coming up to me.
He motioned to his ugly short gay friends lawyer Aaron Rosenberg and his ‘husband’ that this was worth watching. They snickered, like vile bullying children, behind my back.
Let’s face it, Guy was only there for the free dinner and to stand with his famous friend and hope to ensnare other famous people with his puppy eyes and his maudlin sob stories.
The point of the evening was completely lost on him.
After I walked away from Guy other honorees came up to me and offered their hands.
One of them, an elderly female philanthropist said, “We are like kindred spirits, you and me.” I was so touched by her generosity.
So many kind people… not one of them gay.
There was a moment in Beverly Hills recently when my body decided enough was enough. 7am, Beverly Drive, walking the dogs… I fainted.
The last thing I remember: kicking a fresh pine cone. The next thing? I crashed to the ground painfully twisting my wrist under the weight of my body.
Dude, my fat red dog ran away as fast as he could. The Little Dog stayed beside me as loyal as any dog can be.
I probably should have seen a doctor but, like my Grandmother and my Mother, a visit to the doctor is the last thing I do willingly.
It took an hour or so to persuade Dude to come back to me. For the rest of the day he looked at me differently. Like I was a stranger.