FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL ACTIVIST LT. DAN CHOI TO RECEIVE STUDDS AWARD AT APRIL 10 MEN’S EVENT; LADY HAHA, AKA KATE CLINTON, HEADLINES ENTERTAINMENT
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell activist Lt. Dan Choi will accept the Congressman Gerry E. Studds Award and Kate Clinton will bring her Lady Haha tour to this year’s Men’s Event. Clinton will be sharing the stage with comedian, writer and Theater Lab professor Eddie Sarfaty and VJ Tom Yaz will bring his high-impact dance party, filling the dance floor with the sounds and images that excite and inspire you to move.
Fenway Health’s Men’s Event takes place Saturday, April 10 from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. at The Boston Marriott Copley Place, 110 Huntington Avenue. Dinner and presentation of the Studds Award starts at 7 p.m. The evening will also feature silent and live auctions and a post-dinner dance party. More than 1,200 gay and bisexual men, transgender people, community leaders, friends and supporters are expected to attend this year’s event.
Lt. Dan Choi is the recipient of this year’s Congressman Gerry E. Studds Award. Lt. Choi served in the United States Army for a decade under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a policy that forces LGBT American soldiers to keep secret their sexual orientation. On March 19, 2009, Lt. Choi, a West Point graduate and Iraq veteran fluent in Arabic, announced that he was gay on The Rachel Maddow Show. Because of three words – “I am gay” – Lt. Choi’s life changed forever. Despite his value as an Arabic speaker able to communicate quickly and clearly with the Iraqi people, Lt. Choi was notified that the Army had begun discharge proceedings against him one month after his announcement. He continues to serve as an infantry officer in his unit while awaiting a final decision on his potential discharge.
Lt. Choi is a founding member of Knights Out, an organization of West Point alumni advocating for the rights of gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. He is an inspiration to soldiers and veterans who feel isolated, alone, and even suicidal because the torment of rejection and discrimination.
The Congressman Gerry E. Studds Award is given at The Men’s Event to honor individuals of integrity and selflessness who embody the spirit of service and provide positive leadership for the LGBT community. Congressman Gerry E. Studds represented southeastern Massachusetts in the U.S. Congress from 1973 to 1997 and became the first openly gay Member of Congress in 1983 when he proudly acknowledged his sexual orientation standing on the congressional floor. The Congressman Gerry E. Studds Award is given at each year’s Men’s Event in honor and memory of Studds, who passed away in October 2006.
This year’s Men’s Event is made possible thanks to the hard work of event Chairs Rich Gardner, Benjamin Perkins and John Prince, as well as the support of our generous corporate sponsors, including Presenting Sponsors Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Cleveland Design. For a complete list of sponsors and more information about our event Chairs, entertainment and Lt. Dan Choi, visit www.mensevent.org. Fenway Health’s Women’s Dinner Party, New England’s premier fundraiser for lesbian and bisexual women, transgender people, community leaders, friends and supporters, will take place on March 13. More at www.womensdinnerparty.org.
For nearly forty years, Fenway Health has been working to make life healthier for the people in our neighborhood, the LGBT community, people living with HIV/AIDS and the broader population. The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health is an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education and policy development focusing on national and international health issues.