Task Force Los Angeles Leadership Awards Nearly Sold Out

September 24, 2003

Event Takes Place This Sunday, September 28 From 5-8pm

LOS ANGELES, September 24, 2003 - As part of its 30th anniversary year, on September 28 the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force will present the 14th Annual Leadership Awards in Los Angeles, honoring Calpernia Addams, David Lee, Kelli and Rosie O'Donnell and Antonio Villaraigosa. VIP tickets are sold out and general admission tickets are rapidly approaching sold out status as well.

L.A. City Councilmember Antonio Villaraigosa is a tireless ally of the LGBT community who, as a legislator and former Speaker of the California State Assembly, authored laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

"I want to commend the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for its tireless efforts and dedication in support of civil rights and justice for all people - and, for making the world a better place for today's and tomorrow's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community," said Los Angeles City Councilman Antonio R. Villaraigosa.

Calpernia Addams is a leading advocate in the transgender community whose real-life story inspired the making of Showtime's Soldier's Girl, which recounts her loving relationship with murdered soldier Barry Winchell.

"Back home in Nashville, when I toiled away as a showgirl and struggled to live my daily life as a woman in a notoriously conservative area of the nation, I would often hear of the Task Force doing this or that amazing work," said Addams. "It seemed like something far away and powerful, and I was glad that it was working for me even all the way out there in TN. To be here in Los Angeles, actually being recognized by them, is an amazing honor."

Nine-time Emmy winner David Lee was one of the first openly gay writer/producers in television. Lee is co-creator and executive producer of the critically-acclaimed television show Frasier, and he was instrumental in challenging his employer, Paramount, for their decision to launch Dr. Laura's television show. Frasier star David Hyde Pierce will present the Leadership Award to Lee.

Rosie O'Donnell and her partner Kelli O'Donnell, are a devoted couple dedicated to fighting for family adoption and same-sex parenting issues. They are the proud parents of four children.

All honorees are expected to be on hand to accept their awards.

"We are proud to be honoring such stellar individuals," said Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman. "Their commitment to promoting LGBT equality and educating the public about issues of vital importance to our community is to be commended, and we can't thank them enough."

Established in 1989 to pay tribute to community leaders and allies who help pave the way for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people by advancing the cause of freedom, justice and equality, the evening will include an awards ceremony, a silent auction, and cocktail and dessert receptions.

Silent auction highlights include:

-Trip packages to Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Big Bear, San Diego, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Miami Beach, New York and Australia

-Autographed memorabilia from k.d. lang, Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Lowell and Shania Twain

-Gift sets from TV shows such as Queer as Folk, The Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle, Bernie Mac and American Idol

-IBM Thinkpad Notebook

-Gift baskets from Sebastian International, Nancy Boy, Supercuts, Altoids and Anthony Logistics For Men

-Restaurant certificates, DVDs, wine, books and lots more.

Past Leadership Award honorees include: civil rights activist Coretta Scott King; Senator Ted Kennedy; film producer Bruce Cohen; comedian Margaret Cho; actors Mathew St. Patrick, Alec Mapa and Wilson Cruz; The Advocate's first female editor-in-chief Judy Wieder; adoptive parents Roger Croteau and Steven Lofton; and The Indigo Girls.

What: The Task Force 14th Annual Leadership Awards
When: Sunday, September 28, 2003, 5 - 8pm
Where: The Village, 1125 North McCadden Place, Los Angeles, CA 90038

For more biographical information/photos of the honorees, or to purchase tickets, please visit the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Web site event page or contact Special Events Manager Clayton Yeung at 323-857-8742.


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.