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    CLIK AWARDS COME TO TOWN!!!!

    By L.T. Dinwiddie

    With the sudden boom of award shows over the past couple of years, there has still been an entire community that was being ignored, brushed aside and discounted. Many within the African-American Gay community have been waiting patiently for an award ceremony that honors all that they do in entertainment, social awareness, fashion, community involvement, and political achievements. With all that mainstream society takes from the gay community, particularly the African-American Gay community-- (Look at Beyoncé and Janet), it's shocking to realize that it's taken this long to organize and execute such a much needed award ceremony.

    As daunting of a task it is to execute an award show – Dwight Powell, Owner, and Editor-in-Chief of the hottest, and most innovative Black gay publications on the market -- Clik Magazine, has brought to life a ceremony to honor the many faces of a culture that most others forget exists. What started out as an idea has evolved into arguably one of the most highly anticipated social events of the season.

    The First Annual Clik Honors Awards, hosted by Noah's Arc's Rodney Chester, and Harmonica Sunbeam, was held at the prestigious Fox Theater in the heart of Atlanta, GA. The turnout was absolutely staggering as many of today’s pioneering Gay and Lesbian leaders like, E. Lynn Harris, Keith Boykin, Lisa C. Moore, Patrik-Ian Polk, Jasmyne Cannick, and Wilson Cruz showed up to be honored for all of their achievements. You could feel the love in the room as all of the award recipients rubbed elbows and smiled for dozens of cameras from all their fans. There was a high esteem throughout the entire ceremony as every award receiver humbly accepted their award(s) but, not without each and every one of them saying something profound in their acceptance speeches.

    One of the most heart felt moments of the night was watching Kevin Aviance receive an award. If you are not aware Kevin, who is a world renowned artist and performer — as well as a very popular personality in New York City's gay scene, was robbed and beaten by a group of men who yelled anti-gay slurs at him this past Summer. His jaw was broken and he was basically left for dead. Still, he beat the odds and came out in full form for the ceremony.

    No matter what you may think or feel about the African-American Gay community, the most important thing about last night’s observance was that this community will no longer be denied. If society doesn’t want to acknowledge them then they will acknowledge themselves. Award recipient and About.com’s contributor Ramon Johnson made a simple but poignant point while recieving his award by way of Dr. Suess - “Be who you are because the people that mind don’t matter, and the people that matter don’t mind.

    If we all could just take those words and let them resonate through us we would all be A LOT better off as people.

    The 2006 Clik Magazine Elite Winners List

    BUSINESS
    John Campbell (New Jersey)

    COMMUNITY ADVOCACY
    Jasmyne CannicK (Los Angeles)
    Rudolph Carns (Atlanta)
    Joe Hawkins (Oakland)
    Phill Wilson (Los Angeles)
    Rev. Antonio Jones (Atlanta)

    ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
    Patrik-Ian Polk (Los Angeles)
    Wilson Cruz (Los Angeles)
    Rodney Chester (Los Angeles)
    Maurice Jamal (New York)
    Quincy LeNear & Deondray Gossett (Los Angeles)
    Rashid Darden (Washington D.C.)
    E. Lynn Harris (Little Rock)
    Kevin Aviance (New York)
    Billy Porter (New York)
    Raquel Lord (Atlanta)
    Sophia McIntosh (Atlanta)

    MEDIA
    Ramon Johnson (New York)
    Lisa C. Moore (Washington D.C.)
    Dwight Powell (Atlanta)
    Duane Cramer (San Francisco)
    Ric Rollins (Tampa)

    POLITICS
    Keith Boykin (New York)
    Hon. Ken Reeves (Cambridge)
    Alexander Robinson (Washington D.C.)
    Dr. David Melbranche (Atlanta)

    ICON HONOREES
    Archbishop Carl Bean - Founder of Unity Fellowship Church Movement (Los Angeles)
    Alan Bell - Publishing Pioneer (Los Angeles)
    Traxx Atlanta - Nightclub Promoter (Atlanta)


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