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Over 3,000 Expected to Attend Viva La Glam: GMHC's 26th Annual Latex Ball

Over 3,000 Expected to Attend Viva La Glam: GMHC's 26th Annual Latex Ball Largest Ball in the World for the House and Ball Community
7.20.2016
 

GMHC

     
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 21, 2016
Contact: Danielle Filson | Danielle.Filson@berlinrosen.com

MEDIA ADVISORY

 

New York, New York – Over 3,000 people from around the world are expected to celebrate the 26th annual Latex Ball, produced by Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), which will occur on Saturday, July 30, 2016 at Terminal Five, 610 West 56th Street, New York City, from 8:00 PM to 4:00 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 a 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. Free tickets are available to those who text "latexball" to 99000 in advance or attendees can pay $30.00 at the door.
 
"For over 25 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 as well as adults," said Kelsey Louie, CEO, GMHC. "The ball taps into the creativity, resiliency, and strength of the House and Ball community, and it celebrates and encourages members to support their community health and influence mainstream culture. With the increased hate crimes and murders of people of color, it is essential this event continues to let these youth and young adults know that they do matter. I am grateful to our co-sponsors Callen Lorde, the Imperial Court of New York, the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) and AMPNYC.org (an HIV Prevention study), and would like to give significant recognition to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Public Health Solutions. Because of their contribution, we are able to return to our tradition of offering this event free of charge to the community, which will further our messages of prevention and community."

WHO:
Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), celebrity fashion models, designers, photographers, Ravine-Simone
    
Raven Simone
    Raven Simone of ABC's "The View" local leadership

WHAT:
26th Annual Latex Ball
 
WHEN:
Saturday, July 30 from 8:00 PM - 4:00 AM
8:00 pm: Screenings of public health videos and social media campaigns co-created by LGBT youth and GMHC staff
9:00 pm:  Presentation of Latex Ball awards
10:00 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 8:00 pm. For media passes, media must contact danielle.filson@berlinrosen prior to July 30.
 
Background
This year, the competition categories focus on the theme, "Viva La Glam." A panel of esteemed judges will select individual and team winners. modelParticipants 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.  
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.
 
RunwayThe 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. To this day, this movie is still the definitive film about this community.

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Latex

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About Gay Men's Health Crisis
Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) is the nation's leading provider of HIV and AIDS care, prevention services and advocacy, serving nearly 10,000 people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS in New York City, the epicenter of the epidemic in the U.S. As the world's first HIV and AIDS service organization, GMHC is an expert in providing services that every person affected by the epidemic deserves. GMHC is on the front lines caring for people who are both HIV negative and positive, including: testing, nutrition, legal, mental health and education services. GMHC also advocates for stronger public policies at the local, state and federal level with the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic in New York State by 2020. Most recently, GMHC and other HIV and AIDS organizations successfully persuaded the federal government to recommend widespread use of PrEP, a new daily treatment that is over 90% effective in preventing HIV infection. For more information, visit www.gmhc.org.