Saturday, April 2, 2011

Anti-LGBT Assault - What Can I Do?

Lady B.L.U.E.
In the wake of the most recent anti-LGBT assault in New York's heavily-gay West Village, popular entertainer Lady B.L.U.E. (Beautiful, Loud, Unique, Explosive) asked herself what could she do to help?

Her answer was to put together a benefit show for New York City's Anti-Violence Project. Using Facebook as a tool, she put the word out among her friends, and in 72 hours was hosting the Lady B.L.U.E Show AVP Benefit at one of the West Village's oldest bars, Boots and Saddles.

The bar was packed with a very appreciative audience, loudly cheering the efforts of the talented entertainers who put on an extended show, performing for four-plus hours. The performers included Lady B.L.U.E., Da Cukoo, M'Lady Uppercrust, Vanessa Valtre, Violet Storm, Miss Crimson Kitty, Victoria Chase, Demanda Dahling and Boots and Saddles' regular Thursday night dancer Jamal Alexander.

Lady B.L.U.E. introduces Andrea N. Durojaiye from AVP
Lady B.L.U.E. had never organized a benefit like this before, and when I asked after the show what motivated her to do it, she replied, "I was continually seeing these violent occurances pop up all over our beautiful city and noticed the gays facebooking and twittering about the new Prada shoes they bought or fixating on style over substance... and made a conscious decision to step up and do something positive.... So with out any instruction I made it happen, and I'm so glad I did."

I'm sure AVP is glad, too. All of the performers donated their tips for the night to AVP, and while I had to leave before the show closed, the fishbowl was filled to overflowing with bills - And I know I saw some $20s in there! 

All in all, a very successful and highly entertaining evening. The message of this is simple: If what's happening around you gets you upset, turn that upset into something positive by getting involved! Call your politicians. Find an organization that is addressing the problem and offer to help. It doesn't take a lot to make a contribution.

Well done, Lady B.L.U.E. A true Lady, indeed.

M'Lady Uppercrust


The New York City Anti-Violence Project was founded in 1980 in reaction to neighborhood incidents of anti-LGBT violence and the failure of the criminal legal system to respond.

In the mid-eighties, AVP expanded their work to provide professional counseling to victims of hate violence as well as domestic violence, sexual assault and HIV-related violence.

Today, AVP provides free and confidential assistance to thousands of LGBTQ and HIV-affected people each year. They maintain a 24/7 bilingual hotline staffed by professional counselors and trained volunteers.

Vanessa Valtre
AVP works to educate law enforcement, health care and education professionals, and social service agency personnel on the violence issues, holding these people accountable to their obligation for fair and just treatment of our community. AVP documents incidents of anti-LGBTQ violence and uses this information to educate the public about safe dating, safe cruising, recognizing the signs of violence and much more. They work to change public attitudes that encourage and condone hate-motivated violence.

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