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Absolut World AIDS Day Ball 2022: Celestial Beings

WORLD AIDS DAY BALL

CELESTIAL BEINGS

 

We believe that mixing people and perspectives creates connections that can change the world. With competition, friendship and chosen family at the heart of the ball scene, we’re proud to be teaming up with FUNCTION once again for another great ball!

Thanks for joining us for the second annual World AIDS Day Ball, the biggest and most explosive ball in Canadian history!

Competing for over $20,000 in cash prizes, some of the best local and international performers will hit the runway to the sounds of Legendary DJ Byrell the Great, Precious Basquiat and Twysted Miyake-Mugler.

About World AIDS Day

Despite HIV only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of AIDS-related illnesses worldwide, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history. Today, approximately 60,000 Canadians still live with the virus.

 

On December 1st, people around the globe unite in solidarity for World AIDS Day. It’s an important opportunity to support folks living with HIV, commemorate those we’ve lost to AIDS-related illnesses, and end stigma and discrimination.

 

It’s also a chance to remind the public and government that HIV still affects millions of people around the world and that we must increase our efforts to educate, raise awareness, and address the systemic inequalities that create barriers to testing, treatment, prevention, and care for priority populations.

 

Today, with antiretroviral therapy, people living with the virus can achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load and effectively eliminate the risk of sexual transmission—meaning Undetectable=Untransmittable, or U=U. For folks who aren’t living with the virus, pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, when taken as prescribed, can reduce their risk of contracting HIV. For those who have been exposed, emergency post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) can be used to prevent HIV and can be kept at home as PEP-In-Your-Pocket (PIP) just in case an exposure happens.

 

To learn more about World AIDS Day, safer sex prevention and to pick up a self-testing kit, please visit our linkage to care area where you can speak to Toronto HIV/AIDS organizations, CANFAR, Maggie’s and ACT.

About Our Talent at the World AIDS Day Ball

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Twysted Miyake-Mugler

Midwest and Canada Father Twysted Miyake-Mugler—one of the founders of the Toronto Kiki Ballroom Alliance and pioneer of the Canadian Ballroom scene at large—has been cutting up with the girls for over a decade, from commentating some of the largest functions in Canada to bending his wrists across the border. Through his work, Twysted has partnered with major organizations and brands, from the CBC to Redbull, helping highlight our local talent.

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Legendary DJ Byrell the Great

Known as one of Ballroom’s most prodigious DJs, Byrell The Great is a true master of his craft, earning him his Legendary status in 2022 and allowing him to travel the globe to spin some of the hottest balls.  With projects like his Vogue Workout series and Chopped Cheese mixtape, Byrell’s work has been featured in multiple fashion ads, movies, and TV shows.

Precious Basquiat

Precious Basquiat

Featured on My House and in Port Authority, Precious has one of the most recognizable voices in  all of Ballroom. Her style and skills have taken her around the world—commentating balls across the US and overseas and working with brands like Nike and Rick Owens.

BALLROOM GLOSSARY

 

Ballroom

Centered around self-love and self-expression, Ballroom is an inclusive Black and queer-led space—with a rich history dating back to 1960s New York City—that allows us to celebrate one another while competing in various categories, like Performance (Vogue), Runway, and Realness.

House / Family

From its inception, Ballroom houses offered security for Black and Latinx queer, gay and trans people. Led by house parents—members of the scene with more tenure and experience—houses played a critical role in supporting and fostering the growth, development, and success of newer generations.

Parents

Responsible for the overall health and direction of their respective houses.  House mothers and fathers help shape the lives of their members, on and off the floor. From teaching them the skills necessary for their survival to helping them master their category, they fill in the gaps often left by biological family members.

Ball

Balls are competitive events where houses and performers battle it out on the runway in a multitude of categories. Most importantly, Balls are an outlet for creativity and passion, a promise of freedom and liberation, and a celebration of Black and queer excellence.

Category

Different segments of the competition highlight different talents and skills. Categories are judged by a panel of seasoned Ballroom leaders.

Walk

To compete in a category.

LSS: Legends, Statements, & Stars.

Every ball begins with LSS, a chance to recognize and pay respect to the Legends, Icons, Statements and Stars present in the building.

Toronto AIDS Organizations, Clinics, and Community Support

Maggies Toronto

Maggie's Toronto Sex Worker's Action Project are one of Canada's oldest by-and-for sex worker support organizations and one of the first sex worker organizations globally to receive government funding. Founded in 1986, Maggie's was established on the belief that sex work is real, legitimate and valuable work. We are not an exit organization and we believe that whether sex workers choose to stay or leave their industries, we all deserve to live with safety, dignity and respect. To improve our lives, sex workers must take the power to control our own destinies. That is why Maggie’s exists first and foremost as an organization run by and for sex workers, that is controlled by sex workers.

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Sexfluent

Sexfluent is a youth-driven initiative brought to you by CANFAR (Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research) and is dedicated to ending Canada’s HIV epidemic but they know that HIV prevention is so much more than just giving out information about HIV transmission and prevention. It’s about creating a culture of openness, acceptance and empowerment for youth to feel confident in their identity, sexuality and decision-making capabilities. Sexfluent wants to transform the conversation around sexual health to be free of judgment and shame so that you can embark on your own journey of self-acceptance and exploring pleasure.

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HIV AIDS Connection

HIV AIDS Connection is community inspired and dedicated to positively impacting the lives of individuals and diverse communities living with, at-risk for or affected by HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. Their service users include people living with HIV/AIDS and HCV, their partners/family/friends, as well as those concerned about HIV/AIDS and HCV or at risk for HIV. They also work with anyone who provides services to people with, or at risk for, HIV and HCV. All services are free and confidential.

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Call Auntie Clinic

Call Auntie Clinic started out as the Call Auntie COVID-19 Indigenous Pathways Hotline at the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020. Their team of Aunties got together and created a connection for the Indigenous community in Tkarōn: to support each other through the pandemic. After learning that there was a need for more than just a hotline and that safely visiting and sitting with one another is critical to staying healthy, this is how the Call Auntie Clinic came to be. Today they have a group of Aunties to support you with your health and well-being.

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Go Freddie

Awkward doctor’s visits are a thing of the past. Go Freddie’s team of clinicians and pharmacists will provide affirming and evidence-driven care, without judgment.

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Hassle Free Clinic

Hassle-Free Clinic represents the largest anonymous HIV test site in Canada, and one of the country’s busiest sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics. They are a community-based clinic providing medical and counselling services in all areas of sexual health. It is the largest anonymous HIV test site in Canada and is one of the country’s busiest sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics. The clinic strives to maintain an informal atmosphere, delivering services in a timely, non-bureaucratic manner. A fundamental principle of service delivery is a non-judgmental, supportive attitude to the treatment of sexual health concerns.

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CATIE

CATIE strengthens Canada’s response to HIV and hepatitis C by bridging research and practice. They connect healthcare and community-based service providers with the latest science and promote good practices for prevention and treatment programs. As Canada’s official knowledge broker for HIV and hepatitis C, you can count on them for up-to-date, accurate and unbiased information. Originally founded in 1990 to share information among people living with HIV about new and emerging treatments, CATIE’s mandate has expanded to providing both treatment and prevention information on HIV and hepatitis C to frontline service providers across Canada.

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WORLD AIDS DAY BALL SPONSORS

About Absolut

For 35 years, Absolut has been proud to stand behind the 2SLGBTQ+ community, championing equal love for all. We believe that mixing people and perspectives can create connections that change the world. With competition, friendship and chosen family at the heart of the ball scene, we’re proud to be teaming up with FUNCTION once again for another great ball.

About Nobis

Nobis is a Canadian premium outerwear brand, loved internationally in over 40 countries. We take performance textiles and technological innovations and apply them to timeless silhouettes that can take you anywhere. We want you to embrace your passions and live a dynamic life. Our goal is to foster and grow our relationship with the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and we are incredibly proud to do this alongside our dynamic partner, Live Nation Canada, as we proudly support the World Aids Day Ball.

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About Gilead

Decades of scientific innovation, community partnership and public health advocacy transformed HIV from an inevitably fatal disease to one that for many can be well controlled and prevented. And we must go further. To do this we will continue to champion innovations, programs and partnerships that support the long-term wellness of all people impacted by HIV until we eliminate the virus from the world. Together, we can end the epidemic for everyone, everywhere.

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About Jems

Jems is a condom and platform for sexual education. Jems condoms are designed for all identities, changing the way we relate to and perceive condom use—it’s one of the many reasons we love them. With their ultra-thin condoms made of natural latex, 100% silicone lube, and nothing more, we know you’ll love them too!

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About FASHION Magazine

As Canada’s top fashion and beauty magazine, FASHION is an all-inclusive brand aimed at all sizes, ages, ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations, inspiring and empowering fashion and beauty lovers to try new things and be their best selves.

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About Live Nation

Live Nation Entertainment is the world’s leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, and Live Nation Media & Sponsorship.

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