The Human Rights Campaign Gala

The Human Rights Campaign, or HRC, is the largest organization in the USA that lobbies for LGBTQIA+ persons and their rights. Each year they hold a gala in Cincinnati to recognize people who have donated to their cause, as well as shedding light on their recent victories in the US for rights of people of all kinds. I was invited to this gala last year, and again this year with fellow senior Maddie Meyer, as well as others. Heres how it went with our group, myself, Maddie Meyer, and my boyfriend, Ethan Hughes.

The night started off with a sick jam session in my car to ‘Thrift Shop’ and ‘Downtown’ by Macklemore. After that we had to walk around the building of the Horseshoe Casino to get to the front entrance. This was awful considering my heels were actually a size too small, it was freezing cold, and the wind was blowing. During this, a man on a bicycle rode by us and almost knocked myself and Maddie. We eventually made it to the front half-frozen and spirits broken as we realized we would half to walk all the way back at the end of the night.


Heres a shameless photo of my dress in the bathroom. Someone watched me take this.

Once we reached the front we were ushered upstairs quickly with bodyguards since we are under the age needed to be in a casino. As this was happening, a drunk man screamed at us to not gamble. Don’t worry friend, we aren’t. We checked in with our bodyguard, and I felt super cool. A whole bodyguard to myself. He did leave eventually, once we were checked in, and I never saw him again.

Since our tickets were donated by the HRC, we were the very last table on the left side of the room. This was fine by me because we were next to where the waiters came out with food, so we were fed first. No complaints here. Also at our table were 2 friends, Shea and Maleek, along with the 2 adults that coordinated and got our tickets. We needed the adults so we couldn’t escape and gamble our money away. When we got to the table, salads were already served. Baby spinach with pine nuts and bacon and a vinegar dressing. I gave my salad away to Maleek, I was there for the main course.


Left to Right- Maddie, Maleek, and I.

There was an introduction from the 2 heads of the HRC, discussing the recent victories and then a slideshow about the top donors to the campaign. That was nice but then dinner was served and I forgot everything. I did remember that Starbucks was a donor, however.

Dinner. Mashed potatoes, asparagus, grilled chicken breast, and amazingly done steak. Last year I got food poisoning from the chicken, so I traded someone at my table for their steak and you can bet your biscuits I ate both of them. There would be a picture of dinner here, but I ate it too quickly and forgot to take one. I regret that. After that we got mini cheesecakes. The menu said they had seasonal berries, but it was just a slice of strawberry on top. That was irritating.


I don’t know who the heck these people are, but I needed a photo of the dinner. They look so nice though, and they were at table 13 which was close to the front, meaning that they’re ultra rich.

A few more speakers came out, but Shea and I left the table in search of more cheesecake, so we missed those. We did, however, score a whole tray of desserts from a nice waiter. The night wrapped up with auctioning off vacations and shopping sprees to benefit the campaign. I barely had enough money for Taco Bell after the gala, so I didn’t bid on the $6,000 trip to France.

There was an after-party, but after they played Macklemore, I left. Our little group left and mingled with rich old gays, until finally I put an end to the night because I was tired. A new bodyguard came to walk us through the casino, and actually took us to the parking lot elevator so we wouldn’t have to walk around the whole building. He was nice too, but bald, and I never trust a bald man. Also he winked after almost everything he said, which I didn’t like.

Shea and Maleek went to their cars, Ethan, Maddie, and I to mine. We dropped Maddie off, jammed out to some Daveed Diggs, and went to bed. Another gala down, and no more to go. If you get a chance to go to next years gala, I strongly encourage it. The food is fantastic.

Giorgia Close ’16

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