Need support, need to talk? Call 1-800-243-7692
GMHC - Fight Aids. Love Life.

OVER 2,000 TO ATTEND KINGDOM: GMHC's 28th ANNUAL LATEX BALL

6.17.2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Cub Barrett | 212-367-1561 | CubB@gmhc.org
Krishna Stone I 212-367-1016 I KrishnaS@gmhc.org

New York, NY (June 15, 2018)--Over 2,000 people from around the world are expected to celebrate the 28th annual Latex Ball, produced by Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), on Saturday, June 30 at Terminal Five, 610 West 56th Street, New York City, from 6:00 pm to 2:00 am.

The Latex Ball is the largest gathering 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. With the advent of the new TV shows "My House" on viceland and "POSE" on FX, there has been increased focus on the House and Ball community. Actors, featured participants, and producers from these two shows are expected to attend.
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, actors, featured participants, and producers from "My House" and "POSE," and local leadership
WHAT:
The 28th Annual Latex Ball, the largest in the world for the House and Ball community
 
WHEN:
Saturday, June 30 from 6:00 pm - 2:00 am
6:00 pm: Community Information Fair and 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
Krishna Stone at krishnas@gmhc.org prior to June 30. For more information about this year's Latex Ball, including the theme and categories, visit gmhc.org.
BACKGROUND
This year, the competition categories focus on the theme "KINGDOM." A panel of esteemed judges will select individual and team winners. Participants compete amongst one another on the runway for trophies and cash prizes. 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 encourages members to support their community's health. With the continued increase of hate crimes and murders of people of color, it is essential that this event persists in letting members of this community know that they do matter."
The House and Ballroom community, comprised predominately of black and Latinx 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 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 and, throughout the year, reaches this population at other balls and LGBT youth venues, as well as through social media, through innovative approaches to HIV prevention and safer-sex messaging. GMHC also hosts mini-balls, known as "kiki functions," that reach hundreds of young people and adults, offers HIV testing and prevention materials, and serves youth who are not affiliated with a house but who are part of the broader ballroom community.
 
The House and Ball community has inspired artists, designers, and entertainers nationally and internationally, including Madonna for her global hit "Vogue." The community was also chronicled in the 1990 documentary "Paris is Burning," directed by Jennie Livingston, in which Livingston followed the members of the House and Ball community over the course of seven years, and in 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. In 2018, the TV shows "My House" on viceland and "POSE" on FX were launched.
**For interviews and other media inquiries, please contact Krishna Stone at krishnas@gmhc.org**

 ###

 

About Gay Men's Health Crisis: 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.