Shine Bright Like a Diamond (Award)


Dustin Lance Black, Academy Award Winning Screenwriter and recipient of this year’s Diamond Award

The highest honor that the Imperial Court of New York bestows every year is our Diamond Award.  When you have an audience like ours,  the microphone and the eyes of the country’s Imperial Court System on you, it’s a great chance to pay tribute to some of the brave and courageous leaders of the LGBTQ movement.  A listing of some of their names  is a history lesson for the young ones who need to know how far we’ve come:

Radio Superstar Elvis Duran, winner of the 2013 Diamond Award

Irving Cooperberg (1991), Michael Callen (1993), The Hon. Tom Duane (1994), The Hon. Deborah Glick (1995), Joan M. Garry (2002), Dr. Mathilde Krim (2003), Rev. Pat Bumgardner (2003), LOGO Network (2006), LT. Dan Choi (2010), David Mixner (2011), Larry Kramer (2014), Edie Windsor (2015).

Others like Lypsinka (1996), Charles Busch (1997), Angela Shapiro (2001), Joan M. Garry (2002), LOGO Network (2006),  Out Magazine (2007), Mike Ruiz (2012), and Elvis Duran (2013) have recorded our history and amplified our messages and causes.

This year’s Diamond Award Winner is Dustin Lance Black, who first came to national acclaim when he won the Academy Award in 2008 for writing the original screenplay for “Milk,” the biopic of Harvey Milk, which also won an oscar for its star, Sean Penn and was nominated for six others.    

Michael Callen, during House Governmental subcommittee hearing on Monday, Aug. 1, 1983. The hearing, which took place in Wash., was to study strategies for dealing with AIDS. (AP Photo)

Since then, he’s written and edited the HBO Series “Big Love,” the film “J. Edgar,” and February’s ABC Mini-Series, “When We Rise,” a seven-episode journey through gay history from the Stonewall Riots til today.  Jose Sarria, founder of the Imperial Court System, is featured in an early episode.  Black’s writing is continuing to familiarize international audiences with the heroes of the gay rights movement and is helping to spread real history:  we honor his work and welcome him to the Thirty First Annual Night of a Thousand Gowns.

The Reverend Elder Pat Bumgardner, MCCNY, Our 2003 Diamond Winner

At the top, Edie Windsor accepts the Diamond Award in 2014 during the reign of Empress Gracie Steeles and Emperor Wen-D Bouvier Pinkhouse.


Join us as we honor Dustin Lance Black!