Female impersonator Amber Rain addresses members of Lambda at the Bobcat Ball. Photos by Andy Sevilla.
By ANDY SEVILLA
A Texas State social organization made good on a monetary pledge for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) on Saturday night. Lambda, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) group at Texas State, hosted a charity event, known as Bobcat Ball, at Bar One41 in San Marcos.
Lambda President Scott Schoenmakers said approximately $1,650 will be awarded to AHF, after Lambda made a $1,000 pledge and exceeded expectations.
“We met our goal,” Schoenmakers said. “This is such an important cause, because it affects everyone, not just the LGBT community. It’s very important for the community to know about it. The raise in HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) doesn’t discriminate on sexual orientation.”
The “Roaring ’20s” theme party attracted heterosexuals and homosexuals alike, entertaining them with five female impersonators from Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. The entertainers performed without compensation and donated all tips received to Lambda’s philanthropy.
“Ultimately, it’s about AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) education,” said Amber Rain, master of ceremony for the event and female impersonator. “I’ve been fundraising for about 15 years. I do it to improve the community and raise awareness.”
AHF, a non-profit organization, has provided lifesaving medical care and services free of charge to 100,267 people infected with HIV/AIDS in 21 countries around the globe, according to its website. AHF began operations in 1987 as a group of activist interested in providing hospice services to HIV-infected individuals dying in the streets of Los Angeles. The organization expanded worldwide in 2002, opening its first clinic in South Africa. Sixty eight clinics are now operating in the United States, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, including the Caribbean.
“It’s an honor to be asked to help serve the cause,” Rain said. “The younger community is enticed with raising funds, and, while doing so, are having fun and making a difference in the world.”
Texas State Associated Student Government (ASG) Vice President-Elect Tommy Luna, who was in attendance at the event, said the university will turn a new leaf in the months to come. Luna is a member of Lambda, and said his administration will focus on diversity and put forth effort in recognizing all the different groups on campus.
“The event was great,” Luna said. “I saw a lot of people that are in the (LBGT) community and a lot that aren’t, so it goes to show that we can come together for a great cause. It affects everyone.”
Luna said being openly gay in ASG has not affected any of his work, and in fact, he said, “everyone’s embraced it.”
“We’re trying to be a positive influence across campus,” Schoenmakers said. “We’re trying to educate and raise awareness. We need to get more people involved.”
Schoenmakers said San Marcos lacks “gay night clubs and gay bars and it leaves many people without representation in the city.” He said Lambda is an outlet for the LGBT community to interact with others and “be themselves comfortably.”
Schoenmakers said Lambda also is invested in the political climate, advocating and endorsing different proposed policies in the national and state legislatures.
Amber Rain talks while female impersonator Mona, left, and Lambda officer Schott Schoenmakers, center, look on.
Mona performs as tips rain on the stage.
Mona, right, hands a tip to Amber Rain.