On Feb. 12, In Demand Entertainment closed out The Love Out Loud Festival of Events with the 14th Annual Love Out Loud Ball at Captain Hardtimes Dining. The ball featured a full-course dinner, a fashion show, a talent competition and a ball competition that included categories for lip sync, "realness," hair performance and "shoe fetish." Awards were presented at the close of the show.
Over 10 days starting Feb. 4, the festival featured an assortment of events, including documentary screenings ( Kevin's Room and Strike A Pose ), panel discussions ( on Ballroom Culture and Art AIDS America ), a community resource fair, a movie night at the Icon Theater ( a screening of A Darker Shade of Grey ), a night at Lyric Opera and a Beauty Pamper Party get together.
In Demand, which hosted and sponsored the Love Out Loud Ball, is a community-based organization that provides services to young men who have sex with men of color, transgender individuals and same-gender-loving couples through the presentation and support of ball culture. Founded in 2002, the organization has partnered with other organizations in order to bridge the gap between public health and social service providers for the target community.
This year's event acknowledged Black History Month, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness and The Love Out Loud Initiative. The evening was presented by Solomon Infiniti and was sponsored by Elysse and Mark Avant-Garde, with original fashion wear provided by designer Maxine Scott of Designs by Ms. M. Sasha Lauren emceed the ball performances.