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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 15, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 03
Local group that battles LGBTQ homelessness and unemployment to hold fundraising event at Neighbours January 30
Section One
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Local group that battles LGBTQ homelessness and unemployment to hold fundraising event at Neighbours January 30

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Homelessness and unemployment is something that disproportionately affects the LGBTQ community, particularly LGBTQ people of color and Transgender people. There are organizations in Seattle that have made it their mission to help people get back on their feet, work to come up with solutions to the problem, and advocate for LGBTQ people that are impacted by homelessness and underemployment who do not otherwise have anyone speaking on their behalf. Equality Coalition for Housing and Opportunity (ECHO), which held a very successful and well-attended community forum on Transgender homelessness at City Hall last summer, is one such organization and they will host their first major fundraiser January 30, at Neighbours Nightclub (1509 Broadway), from 8:30-10 p.m. ECHO wants you to know that you are all invited.

'So many people in the community work so hard on all the issues that can keep an LGBTQIA+ activists engaged, that we wanted something fun to reward them with, a bit of escape and Decadence,' said ECHO co-founder Zoe Omega.

The event, co-produced by Social Outreach Seattle (SOSea), is called 'Decadence: A Burlesque Celebration of 1920's Queer Berlin.' Funds that are raised from a $10 ticket purchase at the door and money donated from the audience throughout the event, will benefit ECHO and SOSea as well as a portion of the proceeds will go to the Candy House, Lonness Valenna's home for Trans people.

DECADENCE, a night of burlesque, cabaret and drag will be hosted by Jeffrey Robert of The Gay Uncle Time and will feature the talents of Bella Lunacy, Little Bear the Bearded Lady, Maggie Bloodstone, Whisper De Corvo, Areola Borealis, Mac S. McGregor, Miko and Jack Mozie.

According to ECHO, DECADENCE is a celebration of Anita Berber; a pansexual dancer and actress from the Weimar era of Berlin.

'She was notorious for her erotic dancing during a time when Berlin was considered the world's Queer hotspot,' said Omega. 'Anita Berber is the inspiration for Marlene Dietrich's iconic character in Blue Angel. During the 1920s Weimar Berlin attracted thousands of LGBT tourists with its many gay bars and events during a time when the rest of the world was not accepting.'

Omega says that ECHO and SOSea are thrilled to be able to provide some funds to the Candy House, telling Seattle Gay News that Lonness Valenna founded the Candy House in 2014 to give Trans people the ability to take those first steps in being their true selves.

'The Candy House is a home where Trans people learn how to gain the confidence to find work and their place in the world,' said Omega. 'The house also teaches some things about leadership skills, along with empathy for those also in transition. The Candy House is a family for those who have been tossed out by others who don't understand transitioning.'

ECHO has been working with Valenna and the Candy House to come up with creative solutions for the LGBTQ homeless for two years. ECHO was founded in 2013 and is a program at Social Outreach Seattle.

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