Center’s Alcohol-Free New Year’s Eve Party Goes House & Ball

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On New Year’s Eve, #BOOM! 2019: The Boom Ball! will embrace the house and ball scene in the spirit of the  dramatized TV series Pose.

The annual event at West Hollywood Park Auditorium provides an alcohol- and drug-free alternative to the bar and club scene on one of the biggest party nights of the year. #BOOM! has been cosponsored by the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the City of West Hollywood, APLA Health, and the Institute for Public Strategies since 2014.

“It’s really quite a festive event,” says Center Health Services Manager Mike Rizzo. “We offer a safe alternative to people who are in recovery or simply don’t want to drink on New Year’s Eve but do want to go out.”

More than 600 people are expected to attend #BOOM! this year and are encouraged to fully embrace the drag theme. It will be a dramatic departure from past years’ themes, which have included prom, superheroes, and a mid-winter’s night fantasy.

“Based upon the success of Pose, we thought this would be a cool theme this year,” Rizzo says. “We’ve really involved the transgender and drag communities in this because we want to pay reverence to the house and ball scene and not just sort of mimic it.”

Pose is set in New York City in the late 1980s and focuses on the ball culture and house system, an underground LGBT subculture in which people compete for trophies and prizes at events known as balls. They are judged on dancing, costumes, appearance, and attitude.

Most belong to groups known as “houses” that serve as alternative families consisting largely of Black and Latino gay, gender nonconforming, and transgender youth. Houses are led by “mothers” and “fathers” who provide guidance for their house “children.”

Pose made television history with largest cast of transgender series regulars portraying transgender characters. It also has the largest recurring cast of LGBTQ characters ever for a scripted series.

Costumes at #BOOM! can be tailored to one the following suggested categories: High Fashion Realness; Military; Vogue/Strike a Pose; Menage a Trio; and Hot Mess.

The free event will be hosted by Glen Alen, an Emmy Award-winning makeup artist and celebrity impersonator. It will feature dancing, food and drinks, prizes, a photo booth, professional face painting, and a countdown to New Year’s Eve.

#BOOM! will begin at 8 p.m. and go on until 1 a.m. A house walk with chosen family or friends will take place from 10 until 11 p.m.

To RSVP, visit lalgbtcenter.org/boom.

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