Hetrick-Martin Institute Brings Out the Ballroom

Hetrick Martin Institute 40th Anniversary Emory Awards
A lively ballroom competition followed the awards ceremony at Hetrick-Martin Institute’s 40th annual event.
Donna Aceto

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.

Hetrick-Martin Institute CEO Joe Pressley with State Attorney General Letitia James.Donna Aceto
The House of Miyaki Mugler opens the show.Donna Aceto
Four different houses face off on stage.Donna Aceto
Out gay Manhattan State Senator Brad Hoylman and husband David Sigal.Donna Aceto
Qween Jean is all smiles!Donna Aceto
Marti Gould Cummings enjoys the show.Donna Aceto
Ready for the show-stopping ball!Donna Aceto
Raul R. Rivera, Joe Pressley, Luna Luis Ortinz, and Aisha Diori.Donna Aceto