Red has long been the color of the HIV/AIDS crisis. For decades, the red ribbon was worn to bring attention and awareness to the health emergency.
Now the color comes to South Florida to boldly remind people the crisis is far from over.
World AIDS Museum (WAM) is hosting the Red Dress Dress Red Gala, Feb. 4, at the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA). This is the first time WAM has thrown a gala, and Executive Director Terry Dyer said the community has embraced the idea from the jump.
“This has been incredibly exciting for the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center! We cannot wait until they see everything we have in store.”
The Red Dress Dress Red Gala first gained popularity out west and is making its South Florida debut. Dyer says the venerated franchise will definitely have South Florida flavor.
“This event will have flair, style, and components that are specific to our local community, and be the hottest ticket of the year.”
Dyer also said diversity will be a hallmark.
“The event is rooted in the LGBTQ+ community and HIV awareness. As WAM focuses on education in both LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ communities, it was very important to us that we provided a safe space for everyone. If you identify as male and want to wear a dress, please do. If you are a cisgender female and want to wear a suit, please do.”
The night will feature a lineup of well-known local stars, DJ Ed Talks, Broadway star Anne Steele, former "American Idol" contestant Matthew Darren, LeNora Jaye, the Synergy Twins, Miss Velvet Lenore, and Grammy nominee and The Voice finalist Billy Gilman.
The crowd will be a sea of red. Some may be in a red tux or a bright, backless red dress. Others may come in big, red fascinators. Dyer says there is no limit.
“My best advice with respect to attire suggestions has been this: it is your moment to be as bright and loud in red as you want, go big. One of the most amazing components of the event is people can be as creative as they would like with their outfits. Traditionally, people do think out-of-the-box and are very creative.”
Come Along For the Ride
The event is at the DCOTA but will start at Hunters Nightclub in the heart of Wilton Manors. VIP guests will be given a drink and board a shuttle that will take them to the DCOTA, which is a good distance from Wilton. Guests who drive to the event will have access to valet parking.
WAM is also a beneficiary of this year’s Florida AIDS Walk. The gala is a fundraiser for their team, and all money raised will be matched by AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
For more information on the Red Dress Dress Red gala, visit WorldAIDSMuseum.org.