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Up Close, Personal

The deadline has been extended to April 11 to submit a one-minute video to win tickets and backstage passes to An Evening With Women, featuring Rene Zellweger, Linda Perry, Heart, Sarah Silverman and Gina Gershon as emcee.

The elegant extravaganza, which has become one of the hottest tickets in town since it became Linda Perry’s pet project two years ago, has pulled in everyone from Cybill Shepherd to Paris Hilton to raise money for women’s services at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. 

Perry was honored by the center a couple years ago and vowed to do more. She took the reins, called friends, moved the event out of the Henry Fonda Theater and into the International Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

“This year will be better,” she pledged when I ran into her and girlfriend Clementine Ford at another Hollywood soiree. Turns out that Perry couldn’t walk away from the LAGLC after mounting a successful event last year.

“Well, you can’t do a one-shot deal, things will go back to normal,” she said. “I can’t, we can’t have that now.”

She promised some changes to make the event “more of a show.” One area that Perry talked about was the live auction, which in years past has been Sharon Stone’s domain. 

“I’d like to get rid of the live auction,” Perry said. “I think Sharon is great, but maybe went a little overboard.” 

Perry believes there are ways to “just make it smoother and more of a show this time.”

Gina Gershon is set to emcee, while Perry, Zellweger, Heart and Silverman gear up to perform. 

The video contest is open to contestants all over the country and the winner gets $500 toward air travel, a night at the Beverly Hilton and other prizes. All the details are included in the video below.

Coming later this month are the GLAAD Media Awards, honoring Drew Barrymore and Wanda Sykes and featuring Tom Ford and the ridiculously talented cast of Glee, on April 17 at another L.A. glamour palace, the Century Plaza. 

The GLAAD Media Awards recognize media types who promote “fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives.”

Reminds me of the revelations coming from Ricky Martin and Anna Paquin. Ricky spent a lot of time living la vida loca while trying to keep his sexuality private. Now that he’s a father, he voiced some reasons why he believes that it is time to come out. 

The joke now seems to be that he was the only one who didn’t know he was gay. 

But Anna Paquin caught people by surprise. The thing is, she didn’t need to say anything. No one was diverting attention away from her successful career to muse about her sexuality. She chose to announce “I’m bisexual” in an anti-discrimination ad anyway. 

Maybe like Wanda Sykes, she felt that the fight for equality was personal. Other people are trying to dictate who people should or should not love. That’s pretty incredible for a country that was founded on freedom. 

If you don’t think this talk about equality effects you, there’s another event this Sunday, called the Rock for Equality at the Social Security building in Los Angeles. People in same-sex relationships are required to pay Social Security taxes, yet they are not eligible for the same benefits as everyone else.  

Who wouldn’t take that personally? 


Blogger Bio: For more than a decade Laurie Schenden has covered the entertainment industry for Curve, the Los Angeles Times and Germany's Spotlight magazine. Her cover stories for Curve magazine have included Sharon Stone, Melissa Etheridge, and the cast of The L Word. She’s also an award winning documentary filmmaker and one of the co-creators of the Laughing Matters film series, seen on Logo.