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Save Dade 13th Annual Halloween Ball
Soho Studios, Miami Fl
by Mark Thompson & Robert Doyle
October 25, 2008   photo-album Bookmark and Share

Some time after midnight at this year’s momentous SAVE DADE 13th Annual Halloween Ball at Soho Studios, there was a performance by the indefatigable Adora that perfectly encapsulated the agitated state of our collective subconscious during this never-ending and all-important political season.  As Adora handed out pills disguised as M&M’s (“One for you, three for me…”) to jonesing audience members, her Nurse Ratched Acid Queen became increasingly frenetic, zipping back and forth across the stage, humping the speakers and grinding her teeth, her blond bob bouncing like a beaver gnawing through trees.   If ever a performance has captured all our restless nights and nervous energies as we hope and prepare for the results of November 4th, this was it.  And we have good reason to be a bundle of nerves, given that so many of our freedoms hang in the balance.  Created in 1993 to protect the LGBT community from discrimination, SAVE (Safeguarding American Values for Everyone) DADE, under the astute guidance of Executive Director, C.J. Ortuno, has been instrumental in securing legislation such as the Equal Benefits Ordinance and the Domestic Partner Registry—but never before, and probably not again, has the LGBT community faced such a challenge as the campaign to SAY NO 2

The proposed Amendment 2 is a vicious anti-LGBT ballot measure that, if passed, will make Florida one of the most backward states in the entire nation (and that’s saying something!), leaving LGBT people with virtually no ability to legally protect each other, not even in life-threatening situations.  At this point, polls show that Amendment 2 is favored by 58% of the Florida population.  If that isn’t scary, what is?

And so, we came, costumed crusaders one and all, to the Halloween Ball, SAVE DADE’s largest fundraiser, to help fill the coffers to defeat Amendment 2.  There were gladiators and Andy Warhol, Brazilian soccer boyz and American sailors, the Cat in the Hat, Space Cowboy, Ghetto Fabulous and Woody, Batgirl and her Robin, the Joker, hippies and hustlers, half a dozen Joe the Plumbers, policewomen and powdered courtiers, wicked clowns, and—of course, in this, the long election of our discontent, the woman running for Vice President who has now revived a constitutional crusade against same-sex marriage (let’s not even name her, not even give her the benefit of a name—other than “hypocrite”).

The massive space was sheathed in SAY NO 2 scrims and scrims of video clips from Hollywood gore fests such as “Halloween,” while in VIP, DJ FR8-O ripped into a propulsive set that proved the perfect accompaniment to free booze and meatballs.

And there was uber-doorman Michael Stanley, and ECOMB head, Luiz Rodgriques, and Care Resource captain, Ric Siclari, and Winter Party Festival head, Chad Richter, and WIRE publisher, Carl Zablotny, and Task Force helmsman, Michael Bath, and photog Dale Stine (werking the night’s Best Tee: CALAGNADDICT).  In short: a collection of the politically active and concerned who are unwilling to stand still when our civil liberties are threatened.  It was a roomful of shakers and movers—and, thanks to DJ/Producer Alyson Calagna, they were moving and grooving, working out the psychic stresses of a soul-draining election season.

As for Calagna, she sent out wave after wave of restorative sexy, pagan music for a party filled with sultry ghouls and scary boyz.  Looking like an adorable Teutonic graduate from the stage of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, “Spring Awakening,” Miss Alyson (with her Spiderman lunchbox) wanted us to “Feel It”—and we did.  As the Cat in the Hat seemed to be saying as she pranced through the crowd, a vision of lithe feline grace, “(You’ve Got Me) Burning Up.”  Sizzling—she was, that Alyson Calagna, as she burned us with her beats and branded us with the sentiments of the night: SAY NO 2 VOTE NO 2.

For as Adora sang in her pill-popping performance, “Here’s a pill to make love, a pill to get up, a pill to get down…”—and now, all together, let’s swallow the pill that insures that all of us, and our family members and friends, get to the polls by November 4th—and vote: SAY NO 2

Because, if it wasn’t Adora subconsciously admonishing us, there was Miss Alyson playing Madge’s “Four Minutes (To Save the World),” which, in this case, can be readily updated to: TEN DAYS LEFT.  Not a moment to waste.  Call your friends and family: MAKE THEM VOTE.  NO ON 2.

And as the party wound down, and the carnival of costumed excess headed across town to rebirthed Back Door Bamby (at Vagabond—the portals of which are presided over by the ever-glam Michael Stanley), there remained the invaluable contingent of SAVE DADE volunteers, ever cheerful and optimistic, their confidence seeming to say, We shall prevail—with your help.  Let’s not let them down; let’s help SAVE DADE.  Let’s defeat Amendment 2.

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