Avant-garde Celebs Gather at GALECA’s 2014 Annual Dorian Awards ‘Winners Toast’

Photo credit to: Francois Palais/Francois Palais Photography

Shane Bitney Crone and Lea Delaria hug Dorian awards for Bridegroom and OITNB

Orange is the New Black Favorite Lea Delaria and Interior. Leather Bar star Val Lauren Among Mix at Intimate Hollywood Party

HOLLYWOOD, CA / Monday, March 10, 2014 — Putting a final capper on the 2013/2014 awards-season while uncorking champagne, celebrities, industry execs and L.A.-area members of the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association gathered to raise a toast to the nationwide group’s picks for last year’s best in TV and film (as announced back in January).

At GALECA’s annual “Winners Toast,” held Sunday afternoon in Hollywood, Lea Delaria — irrepressible prison inmate “Big Boo” on the Netflix hit Orange is the New Black — accepted the show’s booty of two GALECA Dorian awards, for TV Drama of the Year and LGBT Drama of the Year. Delaria got laughs from intimate mix of just over 50 guests when she said the prison depicted on Orange, a powerful, acid-humored tale of class and turf wars, is “like a big lesbian bar.”

Having a laugh: Lea Delaria, accepting for triple-winner Orange  Is the New Black, chats with emcee Blair Late

Having a laugh: Lea Delaria, accepting for triple-winner Orange
Is the New Black, chats with emcee Blair Late

Rising film star Val Lauren, who played tragic movie icon Sal Mineo in director James Franco’s experimental bioflick Sal and costarred in Franco’s equally daring film Interior. Leather Bar, joined on behalf of Franco, GALECA’s choice for Wilde Artist of the Year. Lauren shared behind-the-scenes details of the making of Sal, and said both he and his friend Franco were drawn to groundbreakers like Sal Mineo, who didn’t “believe in being constricted by labels.”

Shane Bitney Crone, a subject and a producer of the acclaimed gay-rights documentary Bridegroom, accepted that film’s Dorian Award for Documentary of the Year, partly on behalf of writer/director/producer Linda Bloodsworth-Thomason. Bridegroom, documenting the unassuming Crone’s devastating loss of his companion Tom Bridegroom — and his battle for the rights and respect given any widower — was previously introduced by former president Bill Clinton at the Tribeca film festival. Crone’s good friend Coleen McMahon, who wrote and sang the hit ballad “Beautiful Boy” featured in the documentary, was at his side.

"Champagne and pomme frites" was the bubbly theme of GALECA's Winners Toast

“Champagne and pomme frites” was the bubbly theme of GALECA’s Winners Toast

GALECA’s Dorian Awards Winners Toast, themed “champagne-and-pomme-frites,” was held Sunday afternoon, March 9, for the second year in a row at The Pikey Café and Bar 7617 W. Sunset Blvd Hollywood, CA 90046, a colorful British-accented boite in Hollywood. The informal event was hosted by showbiz presenter Blair Late, also a star of the Bravo reality hitNewlyweds: The First Year.

GALECA 2014 Annual Dorian Awards ‘Winners Toast’

After the quick ceremony — which felt more like a TV talk show, with emcee Blair Late (of the Bravo reality hit Newlyweds: The First Year) chatting briefly with the winners on bar stools — the crowd was treated to a surprise. Sam Harris, showman and Star Search icon, read a cheeky except from Ham: Slices of a Life, his acclaimed, new memoir detailing his road from Oklahoma to kooky fame. Topic: what it was like to attend his friend Liza Minelli’s wedding to David Gest.

Lea Delaria and OITNB exec producer Lisa Vinnecour score a pic at GALECA's Winners Toast

Lea Delaria and OITNB exec producer Lisa Vinnecour score a pic at GALECA’s Winners Toast

GALECA and Dorian Awards, founded in 2009, honor movies and TV programs, from “mainstream” to LGBT-themed, with categories ranging from Film of the Year to TV Performance of the Year to Campy Flick of the Year. The organization is comprised of over 90 established film and TV critics, as well as entertainment journalists and editors who cover those fields, for recognized media outlets accessible in the U.S.

         For more information, visit: galeca.com . . .   twitter.com/DorianAwards . . .  facebook.com/dorianawards

Photos credit to: Francois Palais/Francois Palais Photography

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