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On October 6, 2012 the first-ever Sacramento Red Dress Party will launch in Sacramento. A major success in larger metropolitan markets such as Chicago, Seattle and Portland, the event is designed to benefit local HIV/AIDS awareness, education and prevention stops.
The venue for the event’s Sacramento debut will be at Badlands, located at 2003 K Street, right in the heart of Lavender Heights. Benefitting Sacramento’s Gay & Lesbian Center (The Center), the Red Dress Party is the brainchild of David Heitstuman, president of The Center’s board, and will assist in provide much-needed funds to support its programming.
Shara Murphy, Director of Sacramento’s Gay and Lesbian Center, explains, “Support of Red Dress will expand the marketing of onsite HIV/AIDS testing services and allow the center to distribute hundreds of safe-sex kits to adults and youth and keep testing a part of the center.”
According to the CARES (Center for Aids Research, Education & Services) website, there are approximately 3,821 people between the ages of 13 and 50 living with HIV/AIDS in the Sacramento Region. About 2,500 of those cases resulted from unprotected sex. That's where awareness and prevention take center stage.
Julie Kennedy, Community Relations/Client Empowerment Coordinator at CARES adds that the importance of prevention and awareness "empowers the community as a whole, because being aware and knowing your status aides in the process of preventing the disease from multiplying within the population. The most affected demographic is the 20-29 age group because their perception of HIV is a lot different from those in older age groups. Keeping that age rage informed is definitely a priority"
“With funds from Red Dress Party,” adds Murphy, “we will train our support group facilitators and staff in prevention and education best practices--increasing and improving the STD education received by more than 7,000 LGBTQ individuals who enter our doors each year.”
Heitstuman points out that The Red Dress Party is something different in a city that is always craving something new. With every attendee required to wear a red dress, the night is certain to generate some creative interpretations of what a red dress can be for men and women.
“It’s not the style, shade, or price of the dress that makes your red dress amazing,” said Heitstuman. “It’s the fun you have in it. I often have to remind people this is not necessarily a drag party, it is a uniting experience.”
Attendees are encouraged to dress it up or dress it down as much as they like. They just have to wear a dress.
“You don’t have to wear pumps or pearls, nails or nylons, fake hair or handbags—you just have to wear a red dress,” said Heitstuman. “Something simple or something couture; any shape, any size. As long as it’s red, you’ll get in the door."
The requirement is only intended to ensure everyone comes together on a level playing field, making a powerful statement of awareness—with a lot of fun mixed in.
A limited number of tickets are available for the October 6th event at http://www.sacramentoreddressparty.org. General admission is $40, with a VIP option priced at $60.
Join members of the Red Dress Party for a fashion show of dress styles at Badlands (2003 K Street) on Friday, September 21, 2012 during this month's Fridays Are A Drag, hosted by Taryn Thru U, at 8pm.
For contributions or volunteer opportunities at The Center, visit www.saccenter.org.
HIV Testing is available at CARES (www.CARESclinic.org) and at The Center located at 1927 L Street in Sacramento.