in the news/2
Volume 18/Issue 4

Mardi Gras Madness
Masquerade Ball in Houston
to Benefit Body Positive

The party team that brought you the award winning Big Bang parties during the past two years is now throwing what some are calling "Houston's version of New Orleans' Mardi Gras." With an expected attendance of over 700 people, this year's Mardi Gras Masquerade Madness Ball (MGMM) will be held at Rich's on Sun., Feb. 20 from 6pm to midnight. The entire community is invited to "have a ball" with the music of famous Rich's T-dance and Jungle Lust's DJ Tank. Tickets are sold at the door the day of the event for only $10. Costumes are encouraged since a contest will be held at 11pm. Discounted drink specials will be offered through the night.

"The Mardi Gras Masquerade Madness Ball will undoubtedly be a party everybody will remember," said Nelson Vergel, chair of the team. "What the Big Bang party is for July 4th, the Mardi Gras Masquerade Madness Ball will be for Mardi Gras in Houston in this new millennium," added Vergel. He ended by saying, "Together with Rich's we will show once again that the Houston community knows how to have a great time and support a great cause."

All door proceeds from the MGMM will go towards supporting the Body Positive Wellness Center, the first facility of its kind in the country. "The Wellness Center is about teaching people living with HIV how to take care of themselves through nutrition, exercise and other mind-body programs," said Pete Sharpe, Body Positive's president. "We rely primarily on the community's support. Several cities are looking at Houston to lead them in creating wellness centers around the country. Many of our friends are surviving this illness, but their quality of life has not improved with the new drugs. We are trying to change that," added Sharpe.

For more information or to be a sponsor or volunteer, call the BPWC at 713.524.2374.

Matthew Shepard Play
to Open in Denver

A play about the murder of Matthew Shepard and the reaction to the crime and the subsequent trials in Laramie, Wyo., is set to open in Denver on Feb. 26, according to the Casper [Wyo.] Star-Tribune. Playwright Moises Kaufmann - who wrote the off-Broadway hit Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde - and his associates at the Tectonic Theater Project interviewed 200 residents and students shortly after the murder and during the trials of his two killers. "Nobody, except the people who live in the town, has spent the time there that this group of artists has," Donovan Marley, artistic director of the Denver Center Theatre Co., told the Star-Tribune. "They have made a genuine attempt to go deeper and find the real human beings." The play will feature characters based on the interviews, including university students, police, shop owners, and Shepard's friends, all portrayed by 11 actors. After the Denver run, the Tectonic Theater Project hopes to find a venue in New York. [from The Advocate]

HRC Endorses Al Gore

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest Gay and Lesbian political organization, on Feb. 11 endorsed Al Gore for president of the United States at a West Hollywood, CA press conference attended by the vice president. While his Democratic primary opponent Bill Bradley has taken honorable stands on Gay issues, Gore earned the endorsement through his long, well-documented history of tangible actions in support of equality, says HRC.

"Al Gore understands that words create dreams, but actions create results," said HRC Executive Director Elizabeth Birch at the press conference. "He has demonstrated a thorough understanding of our issues, not just rhetorically but historically. He has a long, tangible record of support and has championed our quest for freedom both in word and deed....

"There is a lot at stake in the next presidential election," said Birch. "...The outcome will determine whether we take monumental strides forward or significantly prolong our fight for fairness...."

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