Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Their Voices

If you recall, last year I wrote about a benefit for the Ruth Ellis Center called Kaleidoscope. And then, I went to it. And then? I meant to write about it but never got around to it. That’s a refrain you should be familiar with by now.

In the interim, I have gotten to know the Ruth Ellis Center quite a bit better than before, in part through my friendship with their outstanding executive director Laura Hughes, and also through a shopping event to benefit the Center we held at my pop-up store Hugh last March. It’s an outstanding organization that benefits some of the most vulnerable members of the Detroit LGBTQ community, homeless and at-risk youth. If you aren’t familiar with the Center please, PLEASE go to their website and learn about them.

Held at the Scarab Club, last year’s event featured the debut of a documentary on voguing produced at the Center that was … what’s the word? … oh yeah, fierce.  I met so many new people at the event, both supporters of the Center and folks involved with operations, and then I had the chance to watch a live performance by some of the young people at the Center. Which I recorded.


In my visits to the Center I’ve learned how welcoming it is, and how a real family forms there. The Center’s Highland Park location is so unassuming, you’d never realize the beauty of the work that goes on inside. But the really wonderful thing about the Ruth Ellis Center is the community it has built. The young people who have benefitted from its programs. The staff that genuinely cares about the mission of the Center. And the supporters who are sincere in their dedication, but not so sincere that having a conversation with them is rash-inducing. Basically it’s a lot of great, unpretentious, interesting people.

Tomorrow night there is another benefit for the Ruth Ellis Center, called Voices, which I really encourage you to attend.  They’ve upped the ante in the party department – this one being held at MoCAD – and there is really not a single benefit event you’ll feel better about attending. Why? Well, the good works of the Center and the people who attend, but mostly getting a chance to see the youth who attend the Center put their best face forward and show you what they’re all about!

There will be spoken word performances, where youth from the center tell stories from the heart about their lives. And there will be art, where work produced by the young people of the center will be for sale in a silent auction. All in all, a brilliant night!

If you care about LGBT-related causes then figure out some way to show up. The Ruth Ellis Center is a big part of the Detroit gay community’s non-profit world, and you need to be a part of it!

Voices: A Benefit for the Ruth Ellis Center
Thursday, September 22  5:30pm - 10:00pm
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Avenue, Detroit
Tickets $175 for VIP, $125 regular admission, $50 for under 30
Dinner, beer, wine.
For detailed event information check out the Facebook invite.
To buy tickets, go to or call 313.252.1950
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