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Over 2,000 Expected to Attend Unleash Your Muse: GMHC's 27th Annual Latex Ball

The Largest Ball in the World for the House and Ball Community
7.24.2017

 

 

 

GMHC

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Danielle Schlanger | 646-200-5309 | danielle.schlanger@berlinrosen.com

 

Media Advisory - For Planning Purposes
Event Date - Saturday, July 29, 2017
6:00 pm to 2:00 am

New York, NY-- Over 2,000 people from around the world are expected to celebrate the 27th annual Latex Ball, produced by Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at Terminal Five, 610 West 56th Street, New York City, from 6:00 pm to 2:00 am.

The Latex Ball is the largest in the world for the House and Ball community, and attendees include fashion models, designers, renowned photographers, members of the House and Ballroom community and leadership from community-based organizations. The event incorporates an array of categories for competition, free HIV testing, HIV-prevention materials, and sexual health messaging provided by GMHC and over 20 community-based organizations, as well as the New York City and State Departments of Health.

WHO:
Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), celebrity fashion models, designers, photographers, local leadership

WHAT:
The 27th Annual Latex Ball, the largest in the world for the House and Ball community
 
WHEN:
Saturday, July 29 from 6:00 pm - 2:00 am
6:00 pm: Screenings of public health videos and social media campaigns co-created by LGBT youth and GMHC staff
6:30 pm:  Presentation of Latex Ball awards
7:30 pm: Competitions begin 
 
WHERE:
Terminal Five – 610 West 56th Street (between 11th and 12th Avenues), NYC

RSVP:
Interviews, photos and film opportunities will be available starting at 6:00 pm.
For media passes, media can contact Danielle.Schlanger@berlinrosen.com prior to July 29.

For more information about this year's Latex Ball, the theme and categories, visit gmhc.org. Tickets are available at axs.com.
 
BACKGROUND
This year, the competition categories focus on the theme, "Unleash Your Muse." A panel of esteemed judges will select individual and team winners. Participants compete amongst one another on the runway for trophies and cash prizes. Prior to the start of the competitions, entertainers perform at the delight of the audience. Awards based on excellence in performance, creativity, and community service are also given to respected community leaders. 

"For close to 30 years, the Latex Ball has played a critical role as a public health intervention. It also provides a strong sense of community for young black and Latino youth and adults," said Kelsey Louie, CEO, GMHC. "The ball highlights the creativity, resiliency, and strength of the House and Ball community, as well as encouraging members to support their community health. With the continued increase of hate crimes and murders of people of color, it is essential this event persists in letting youth and adults know that they do matter."

The House and Ballroom community, comprised predominately of black and Latino/a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, is built from an organizational structure of "houses." A house is a club or surrogate family that includes a "house mother," "house father," and "children" who adopt the house name as their surname (e.g., Luna Khan, Father of the House of Khan, etc.). Members of the houses, both young and old, compete in balls and related activities sponsored by various houses and promoters throughout the year. House mothers and fathers often provide support for LGBT youth who have been rejected by their families and faith communities and who otherwise might be homeless.
 
The House and Ball community lost many members to AIDS at the onset of the HIV epidemic in the 1980s. As a result, in 1989, GMHC and leaders from the ballroom community created the House of Latex Project. GMHC continues to produce the Latex Ball, which links community members with resources to improve health outcomes. Throughout the year, GMHC also conducts outreach at other balls, LGBT youth venues, and through social media to incorporate innovative approaches to HIV prevention and safer-sex messaging. GMHC also hosts mini-balls, known as "kiki functions," that reach hundreds of youth and adults, offers HIV testing and prevention materials, and serves youth who are not affiliated with a house but are part of the broader ballroom community.
 
The House and Ball community has inspired artists, designers and entertainers nationally and internationally, including Madonna's global hit "Vogue." The community was also chronicled in the 1990 documentary, "Paris is Burning," directed by Jennie Livingston, in which she followed the members of the House and Ball community over the course of seven years, and the 2016 documentary "Kiki" directed by Sara Jordeno, a dynamic coming-of-age film about resilience and the transformative power of self-expression bringing together New York City's disenfranchised LGBT youth of color.

**For interviews and other media inquiries, please contact Danielle Schlanger at
danielle.schlanger@berlinrosen.com**

About Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC)
Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) is the world's first HIV/AIDS service organization. GMHC is on the front lines providing services to over 12,000 people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Programs include: testing, prevention, nutrition, legal, supportive housing, mental health and substance use services. GMHC also advocates for stronger public policies at the local, state and federal levels with the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic. For more information, visit www.gmhc.org.

 

 

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