“Gay people are my saints,” said John Waters.
Of course, the taboo-breaking filmmaker was also something of a demigod for the audience at Los Angeles’ Orpheum Theatre, where he was receiving Outfest’s 16th Annual Achievement Award at the film festival’s opening night July 12.
Following an introduction by his former “Hairspray” starlet, Ricki Lake, the filmmaker, artist and raconteur had to wait out an extended standing ovation before he could begin his speech. He praised the gay community for its achievements, but also gently chided them to not lose the energy that created them.
In the spirit of ACT UP, he also advocated that they consider “ACT BAD. Terrorism isn’t always a bad word, if you’re using humor and not bullets,” he said.
Among his modest proposals: “When studios say your movie is ‘too gay,’ yell out the grosses of their hetero flops.” And for uptight politicians: “Send drag queens to his house to hurl fashion insults at his wife.”
He closed by saying that 50 years of creating outsider art, “I’m tired of being an outsider.” However, he already had a plan ready: “I want to be an insider — and an outlaw.”