The Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) on November 19 took their 40th annual awards ceremony and fundraiser to a new level with a stunning gallery, a ballroom showcase, and an awards presentation featuring “Pose” star Dominique Jackson, State Attorney General Letitia James, and ballroom leaders.
HMI, which provides basic needs as well as health, education, and career services to queer youth, hosted the event at Pier 60 in Manhattan during Transgender Awareness Week. CEO Joe Pressley presented a series of Emery awards to recognize the work of individuals and groups who provide support to HMI.
Kiki community founders Aisha Diori, Luna Luis Ortiz, Raul R. Rivera were given plaques, while late founding member Arbert Santan was honored with a posthumous award. Jackson and James were also recognized by HMI.
Following the awards ceremony, the event transformed into a ball, prompting attendees to jump to their feet and cheer for the four competing houses: The Imperial Dynasty House of Hua Mulan, the Iconic House of Juicy Courture, the Royal House of Old Navy, and the Luxurious Fashion House of Louboutin.
All four houses received cash prizes, though Louboutin landed the grand prize after grossing the most ticket sales.