Uncivil Union Concert Raises Funds for The Ally Coalition

by Winnie McCroy

EDGE Editor

Tuesday June 24, 2014

On Wednesday, June 25, the stars of indie music and comedy will unite for Uncivil Union, a concert to raise funds and awareness for LGBT groups The Ally Coalition, Broadway Impact and New Alternatives for Homeless Youth. The concert is presented by the nonprofit foundation The Ally Foundation, founded by members of fun. and designer Rachel Antonoff.

"Uncivil Union combines two of our favorite entertainments -- music and comedy -- to celebrate equality," said The Ally Coalition co-founders Rachel Antonoff, Nate Ruess, Jack Antonoff and Andrew Dost. "Even better is that we can support terrific local organizations tirelessly working for equal rights."

The lineup includes Broad City stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, and lesbian comedian Cameron Esposito whose stand-up act once prompted Jay Leno to rave that "lesbians rule!" Other stars include host Carrie Keagan, W. Kamau Bell, Nikki Glaser, Jillette Johnson, Mates of State, Wakey!Wakey! and more.

"I'm so proud to be a lesbian and to be able to talk positively and honestly about my life onstage -- I really do see comedy as a great avenue for social change," said Esposito. "This event is the perfect opportunity to put comedy to work in support of The Ally Coalition and their mission to promote equality for all LGBT folks. Can't wait."

Emceed by No Good TV's Carrie Keagan, who previously hosted VH1's Big Morning Buzz Live, headliners include: Bell (FX's "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell"); Glaser (MTV's "Nikki & Sara Live"); Johnson, who will perform "Cameron," her moving ballad about a transgender friend; indie-pop duo Mates of State; and Wakey!Wakey! featuring lead singer Michael Grubbs (One Tree Hill).

"I believe in the right to be exactly who you are and to love whoever you love outwardly and unabashedly," said Johnson.

The Ally Coalition works with members of the music, fashion and entertainment worlds to raise awareness of LGBTQ equality and funding for local LGBTQ groups across the country. In keeping with its mission, funds raised through Uncivil Union will benefit New Alternatives For LGBT Homeless Youth, which helps homeless LGBT youth become self-sufficient and transition into stable adult lives, and Broadway Impact, a grassroots organization of theater artists and fans mobilized in support of marriage equality.

"We are thrilled to be working alongside these amazing organizations to bring Uncivil Union to NYC Pride, a week of celebration and renewed commitment to the cause," said Gavin Creel, Rory O'Malley and Jenny Kanelos, the co-founders of Broadway Impact. "It promises to be an incredible night of music, comedy and equality."

The charity New Alternatives was also very pleased to be partnering with the Ally Coalition on this event to help support LGBT homeless youth in New York City.

"While we are busy celebrating Pride, it's easy to forget that for some LGBT youth, coming out can have dire consequences, including family rejection and homelessness," said Kate Barnhart, Executive Director of New Alternatives for LGBT Youth. "It is our responsibility as LGBT adults to take responsibility for making sure that these youth are able to find safety and community."

* The $98 VIP ticket price reflects 1998, the year Matthew Shepard was killed. Jason Collins, the first openly gay athlete in professional sports, has worn #98 as a tribute. A Brooklyn Nets jersey signed by Jason Collins will be auctioned at the benefit.

Uncivil Union will be held at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 25 at Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St. in New York. For information or tickes, call 212-505-3474 or visit www.lepoissonrouge.com/lpr_events/uncivil-union-june-25th-2014/

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.