Nicola Briggs, the Tai Chi instructor who fought back when a man flashed her on the subway and turned into an Internet sensation, was awarded one of the 5th Annual Women’s Awards last night at the Stonewall Inn.
Briggs spoke to the Voice about winning the award and why, sometimes, it’s good not to be polite.
“Don’t let good manners ruin your day,” Briggs told the crowd, after being presented with the award by Emily May of Hollaback!, whose site first hosted the infamous video before it went viral.
Also honored last night was Natasha Dillon of Queer Rising, who was arrested for shutting down 6th Avenue for gay marriage equality just two days ago.
Dillon’s award was presented by Marriage Equality New York President Cathy Marino-Thomas, who thanked Dillon not just for inspiring her “but for getting arrested so I don’t have to!”
Other honorees included Eileen Dunn, Dr. Barbara Bowen, Jeanne Wilcke, and N. Jerin Arifa.
The event was hosted by activist lawyer Yetta Kurland, who was introduced by her law partner Gina Bonica as “the Ken to my Barbie.” Kurland welcomed Lt. Dan Choi onstage to help with an auction and proclaimed him a feminist, apparently with no ill will about any past word choices.
Also in attendance were musician Carolyn Murphy, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and actress Heather Matarazzo. Entertainment was provided by cabaret artist Marti Gould Cummings (who Michael Musto has called “the love child of Liza Minnelli and Johnny Weir”) wearing a smashing black cocktail dress.