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Preserving Our
Legacy One Party at a Time

Preserving Our
Legacy One Party at a Time


Outfest's annual Legacy Awards honor producer Bruce Cohen and NBC Universal's Ben Silverman. Silverman takes the opportunity to announce his mother is gay. Outfest introduces its new executive director, Todd Heustess.

Milk producer Bruce Cohen and NBC Universal were honored on Wednesday night at Outfest's Legacy Awards, held at the Directors Guild Theater in Los Angeles and hosted by Bruce Vilanch.

Cohen was presented with his "Outtie" award by good friend Ewan McGregor. As he went to the podium to claim the statue Cohen greeted McGregor with a hug and a kiss, remarking in a singsong voice, "I just kissed Ewan McGregor on the lips. See, that is what this evening was all about." Cohen is a longtime supporter of Outfest and helped start the Outfest Legacy Project, which works to restore historic LGBT films and videos, but he used his acceptance speech to thank everyone else who was there, including his husband, and to ask the audience to get active in fighting Proposition 8.

NBC Universal was also honored for its commitment to diversity and the portrayal of LGBT characters in its films and television shows. Accepting the award is NBC Entertainment cochair Ben Silverman, who was presented the award by Molly Shannon, star of NBC's upcoming Kath & Kim. His speech outlined the company's continuing commitment to the community, then ended on a personal note. "I debated whether or not to say this, as I am a bit of a press target," said Silverman. The audience was waiting for him to come out. "No, it's not me," he continued. "But my mother is gay."

He was met with great applause. But the night was also about fund-raising for the restoration project, so actress Mary McCormack hosted a live auction. The first item was a night with gospel singer Tony Sweet, who recently came out in the pages of The Advocate. The second was a private fashion consultation by Randolph Duke, who was in attendance. The third was a day on the set of Pushing Daisies, which Bruce Cohen and his partner Dan Jinks produce -- and whose creator, Bryan Fuller, who was in the audience, committed to a donation of several thousand dollars to the project as the evening began.

The last prize was two tickets to the Los Angeles Milk premiere, again courtesy of Jinks-Cohen. McCormack was a firecracker whom the audience ate up -- we could have stood there and watched her all night as she guilt-tripped her bidders into upping the stakes. With so many gay entertainment bigwigs in the audience I can only hope she got a TV show out of it.

The evening also served as the first introduction of Outfest's new executive director, Todd Heustess, who will be replacing Kirsten Schaffer. It was only his second day on the job, so he was a little overwhelmed but enthusiastic as he addressed the audience.

Also in attendance were Kristen Bell of Heroes, Marisa Tomei, and Wilson Cruz.

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