A Wonderland Gala

“I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night. Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!”  ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The season of Pride is once again upon us, and one of the more exciting events (in my fanciful estimation) is the only official formal event of the Albany Pride season – the GLSEN Alice in Wonderland Gala. An evening for supporting the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network of the New York Capital Region, this event is always one of sparkle and glamour, arriving on the eve of the actual Pride Celebration & Parade.

I love a party, especially a somewhat formal party where there’s a theme and a reason to get dressed up. This year that theme is the very-fertile ‘Alice in Wonderland’ which poses its own challenges and possibilities. Though Lewis Carroll (the troubling writer of the books) comes with his own set of questionable baggage, the works themselves are collections of imaginative whimsy – and the recent movie versions offer their own wonder and spectacle (and some of the most exquisite costuming I’ve seen of late). To that end, this theme is the perfect opportunity for sartorial excess and over-the-top frills. Mad-hatters and bow-tied, waist-coated bunnies are all welcome, and this Cheshire cat will be grinning ear-to-ear in some splendiferous ensemble that is as ridiculous to create as it will be to wear.

The party is scheduled for 6-8 PM on Friday, June 10, 2016 at the recently-renovated Renaissance Hotel (a world of enchantment itself) in downtown Albany. You may get your tickets at this link, and if you can’t make it perhaps you’d consider donating to such a great cause. Here’s a bit of background on the organization and all that they work to accomplish:

Since 1990, GLSEN has led the way on LGBT issues in K-12 education. Through pioneering research, program development and advocacy, GLSEN has made the case for the urgency and importance of these issues, and identified effective school-based solutions. Today, GLSEN remains at the vanguard of the “Safe Schools Movement,” many thanks to the active partnerships with the largest national organizations in elementary/secondary education, youth development and youth service, civil and human rights. The GLSEN-led National Safe Schools Partnership, for example, now includes more than 90 member organizations, and within the past year, each of GLSEN’s bullying-prevention strategies has been endorsed by a federal agency as a best practice in education or youth development. UNESCO has asked GLSEN to assist with the exchange of knowledge and best practice with NGOs and education ministries worldwide.

GLSEN is now focused on leveraging our access and assets to ensure that K-12 education continues to advance on LGBT issues: becoming fully inclusive of transgender students; addressing the multiple challenges confronting LGBT students of color; adopting GLSEN’s proven model policies and programs on a broader scale; and contributing to an emerging international dialogue on LGBT human rights issues and educational access for all children. To do this, we partner with and engage all education stakeholders, most particularly the students who experience our schools every day and are in the best position to help change them.

Your support helps make GLSEN the most transformational organizations of its kind, addressing important school safety issues that have relevance to every member of today’s school communities.  Together we are creating climates and attitudes of respect that will resonate across generations.

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