Her HRC Holds Boston Superbowl Soiree
On Feb. 2, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) will return to Boston’s Harvard Square for Her HRC, a lesbian-focused event with entertainment and DJs, with the goal of gathering women together to both celebrate and build a greater sense of community while learning about the importance of engaging in the LGBT civil rights movement. The events have been held in cities across the U.S. for the past several years.
"HRC wanted to connect with a diverse group in the community and this was a way that we saw of reaching out to the women’s community," said HRC New England Membership Co-Chair Andy Rubinson.
Prior women’s events focused on "The L Word," but when the series ended, HRC searched for another way to bring lesbians together. Luckily, said Rubinson, the Boston women’s community is very tied into the music scene.
"We had Melissa Ferrick at one of the events, which was very popular," said Rubinson, who explained that the HRC steering committee took over the events last year and is now focusing on a variety of topics, including a hypnotist, which he said, "will mix things up a little."
New England Membership Co-Chair Candice Comeaux said that they have been searching for artworks from the community to auction, have booked local hypnotist Dan Candell for a set at this year’s event, DJ LeahV, plus other artists and possibly a band or drag king show.
"We are also pairing it with Superbowl Sunday, and holding it a bit earlier than usual so that guests can enjoy a pre-game party," said Comeaux.
Although the event is open to all, Rubinson said that the vast majority of attendees have typically been women. This is a break from the bulk of HRC events, which -- with the exception of the HRC Gala -- are attended by a majority of men.
"While we try to choose events that appeal to all genders and interests, these Her HRC events are a great opportunity to engage the lesbian population with the work of HRC and let them know about the great accomplishments we’ve made, but the strides that still need to be made," said Comeaux. "These events are a gateway for women to participate more in other events like the Pride parade, the family picnic, or being a table captain at the Gala."
The Membership Outreach committee keeps the admission price of these events low, at around $20-30, and includes a gratis one-year HRC membership for all guests. They keep the speechmaking to a minimum, and focus on sharing information about what HRC does via an information table, where guests can also buy HRC merchandise like their Love Conquers Hate T-shirt. They are also making inroads in campus outreach, courting Boston high school and college students so they can get connected, then take their membership into their post-college days.
The mission of the Her HRC Program is to gather women to both celebrate and build a greater sense of community while learning about the importance of engaging in the LGBT civil rights movement. This program expands and diversifies HRC’s membership through events hosted across the country towards the beginning of each calendar year.
From live performances to comedy to film screenings to everything in between, each market’s unique programming is tailored to its community. Attended by over 5,000 women annually, tickets are kept at a reasonable price to encourage attendance. This coming year, they anticipate 25 to take place in communities across America.
The last Her HRC Boston event was held on Jan. 14, 2012 at The Middle East downstairs. Future events include Bowling for Equality in March to encourage family and corporate/employee resource groups, a family picnic and a wide variety of other fun and different events.
Other upcoming Her HRC events include a Feb. 9 Chicago Va Va Vaudeville event with host Gwen La Roka, and performers Mia D. Vine, Shana Vaughan-Gabor, Marty McConnell and more. And in San Francisco, women can enjoy the Feb. 23 Swing Into 2014 Tea Party event, with West Coast Swing Dance lessons.
The Her HRC Boston event will be held from 3-9 p.m. on Feb. 2 at Oberon Theater in Harvard Square, 2 Arrow St. in Cambridge. Tickets are $15-25; visit http://americanrepertorytheater.org/events/show/herhrc . For more information about Her HRC, visit www.hrc.org/herhrc?