Photo Documentary: AIDS Fund Philly, Gay Bingo
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Raising money for a good cause is fine, but sometimes when there are so many good causes and an abundance of need all around; one must get creative. Enter stage right: Drag Queens calling bingo. AIDS Fund Philly has several successful established avenues in which donations are channeled to assist those living with HIV/AIDS in the Philadelphia area and the Delaware Valley. Gay Bingo at the Gersham Y has been one avenue that’s been going strong for 16 seasons and has raised two million dollars.
Each month (except July and August because there’s no air conditioning and they don’t need people dying from heat strokes) Gay Bingo chooses a theme. The Bingo Verifying Divas (BVDs) represent that theme in full regalia. This merriment is not limited to the Queens, but bingo participants are encouraged to participate, arriving in a costume of their choosing that reflects the theme. Most dress up, but those that don’t are welcome just the same. Here’s a short list of past themes I’m sorry I missed: Sweatin’ to the 80’s, Oz: The Gay and Powerful, and Red Carpet Gay Bingo (I really had a great dress for that one that I never get to wear!). In addition to the overall fun, there are some amazing prizes for bingo winners brought to them by noteworthy sponsors. This is what we call a win/win situation.
The Divas of Gay Bingo understand the principle that If you’re going to do something good for the community, why not have a ton of fun while you’re at it? If you can end up in a puddle of laughter at the end of it all then count it a success. I guarantee you will.