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Honoring Anne Heche & Billie Jean King

Largest Lesbian Event: March 6 in Los Angeles

L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Women's Night

Compiled by GayToday

heche.gif - 20.84 K Anne Heche will be honored by the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center on March 6 Los Angeles--Award-winning actress Anne Heche and tennis legend Billie Jean King will be honored at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Women's Night '99 on Saturday, March 6, 1999.

The event -- the largest lesbian event of its kind -- will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, and is expected to attract more than 1,000 women and raise more than $300,000 for women's services at the Gay & Lesbian Center.

Heche will be honored with the Creative Integrity Award and King will receive the Community Role Model Award at the 16th annual event. Local lesbian/bisexual activists will also be honored with the fifth annual LACE (Lesbian and bisexual women Active in Community Empowerment) Awards

"Anne Heche and Billie Jean King embody the best in our community, and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center is proud to recognize them for their phenomenal accomplishments," said Tammara Billik, event chair and member of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Board of Directors.

"Women's Night is a wonderful opportunity to honor women who have made significant and meaningful contributions, not just to the lesbian and gay community, but to the world."
bjking.jpg - 6.16 K Billie Jean King

Heche has unfailingly and openly acknowledged her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres, in spite of entertainment industry homophobia and much-hyped speculation about how it would affect her career.

Now considered one of Hollywood's best and brightest young talents, Heche has starred in a number of major motion pictures, including the upcoming remake of Psycho; Six Days, Seven Nights; Return To Paradise; Volcano; Donnie Brasco; The Juror; Walking and Talking; and Wag The Dog, for which she was honored with the National Board of Review's Award for Best Supporting Actress. aheche5.jpg - 5.84 K Heche in Psycho

She is also an Emmy Award winner, taking honors for her role in the daytime serial "Another World."

Heche appeared in HBO's acclaimed If These Walls Could Talk, directed by Cher. Displaying her range of talents, she directed and produced her own screenplay, entitled Stripping for Jesus.

"Anne has been fearless in paving the way for other actors to come out. She has shown that an actress who has professed her love for another woman can go on to have an extremely successful film career," Billik said.

"Anne is an outspoken and visible advocate for equal rights for lesbians and gay men, in particular for gay and lesbian youth. Her honesty, as well as her success as an out lesbian actress, make her the ideal recipient for the Creative Integrity Award."

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King is regarded as one of the all-time greats in the world of women's tennis. Currently serving as director and spokesperson for World Team Tennis, King has been a longtime advocate of women's rights, women in athletics, and now, lesbian and gay issues. King has also created a foundation which will, among other things, support lesbian and gay youth.

During her heyday as the world's top women's tennis player, King amassed a record 20 Wimbledon titles in singles and doubles, and won every Grand Slam singles title.

In 1973, King defeated Bobby Riggs in the much-heralded "Battle of the Sexes" match, which still holds the attendance record for a single tennis match.

billiejean.gif - 24.19 K King has also been an important player in women's tennis off the court. She co-founded the current women's professional tour, launched the Women's Sports Foundation and lobbied for equal prize money to help achieve financial equity for women's tennis players.

Named to the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the National Women's Hall of Fame, King was recognized as one of the 100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century by Life Magazine. She has also authored several books on tennis, and the history of women's tennis.

"Billie Jean King has been a pioneer in fighting for the equal rights of all women," said LuAnn Boylan, co-chair of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Board of Directors.

"She has dedicated herself to improving the quality of life -- not only for professional women's tennis players -- but also for our lesbian and gay youth, who so desperately need programs and services that Billie Jean is helping to provide through her foundation."

Proceeds from Women's Night go toward women's services at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, including the Audre Lorde Lesbian Health Clinic, L.A.'s first non-profit health clinic specifically to provide basic preventative gynecological care to lesbians and bisexual women.

Other women's services at the Gay & Lesbian Center include the Lesbian Law Project, counseling, youth, employment, educational, cultural and social programming.

Past Women's Night honorees include Ellen DeGeneres, Sheila Kuehl, U.S. Senator Carol Moseley-Braun, k.d. lang, Dr. Susan Love, the Indigo Girls, Linda Villarosa, Melissa Etheridge and Martina Navratilova.
Tickets for Women's Night '99 are $175 and $275. To obtain tickets, call Events Unlimited (310) 996-1188.

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