The Welcoming Committee blog

Life is short, start a takeover.
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Getting to Know: Corps Member Annie Thompson #5725

Hometown: By the beach in Los Angeles, California. (I hear all the time that I’m crazy for moving here.)

The beach-less neighborhood she now calls home: South End

Your Corps bio says you love the number 13. What’s the story behind the number?
Well, I was born on Friday October 13, my younger brother was born on my half-birthday, April 13, and my sister was born on my birthday nine years later. My college softball number was 13. I think that there is beauty in the number 13. It represents uniqueness and acceptance of the person I am regardless of what others think.

Are you equally obsessed with softball as you are with 13?
Softball is my favorite thing in the world. I’ve played for 18 years and ended up playing at Simmons College. I’m always looking for more opportunities to play!

What’s your day job?
I work in advancement and alumni relations at Simmons College.

Dream job? I would love to travel and work for women’s education and human rights. Think “Three Cups of Tea”minus the outrageous scandal.

Since you’re a baker, what’s your go-to dessert?
My specialties are definitely red velvet cupcakes and apple blackberry pies. I also baked and decorated a Harry Potter themed cake for my sister’s Bat Mitzvah a few years ago.

Name one guilty pleasure.
Red-headed slut shots.

Do you have a favorite TV show?
“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.”

If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Hillary Clinton, hands down. She is my idol. I would love to hug her and then just spend an hour with her talking about her life and everything she has been through. Maybe put glitter on her on my way out.

What are some of the highlights—or lowlights—of your worst date ever?
It was in high school and I was showing my mom’s friend’s son around. Apparently, he thought it was a date but I was not under the same impression. We went out to get sushi in Santa Monica near my house and then I dropped him off where he was staying. Before he got out of the car he sneak attacked and kissed me. My foot was on the break pedal and my car shot forward with surprise. It was awful. I called my best friend that night and came out to her. 

Sum yourself up in one word.
Eigenzinnige, which means quirky in Dutch.

Miley Cyrus: Dancing Queen or Hot Mess? 
Hot Mess. [Corps member] Steve Dyer is a much better twerker. Just sayin’.  

Name a song you can’t get enough of. 
“Roar” by Katy Perry. Guaranteed to put a smile on my face.

What makes you laugh uncontrollably?
The movie “Bridesmaids” and DamnYouAutocorrect.com.

What was your reason for joining the Corps?I was looking to meet new friends and help create a fun and safe space for others to have a great experience like I did. I also got to glitter people. Huge bonus. 

Was there something you learned about yourself as a Corps member?
I learned that I am more comfortable in Boston then I have been anywhere else I have lived. I am surrounded by people that love me and love glitter as much as I do. I am myself here, and The Welcoming Committee has been a big part of that.

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Annie was interviewed by Corps alum Fred Durso #4142, who blogs at freddurso.wordpress.com and can’t wait to sample her apple blackberry pie.

Shit Gays Should Know

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Lorde is everywhere right now. More specifically, her newest single, “Royals,” is everywhere right now. Like, it’s probably playing on the radio as you read this. Also, there is a dubstep remix. And the requisite Pentatonix cover. Lorde is the first woman to top the US Billboard Alternative chart since Tracy Bronman in 1996, and “Royals” beat out Alanis Morissette's “You Oughta Know” for the longest reign by a woman at the top of the same chart. For a 16-year-old from suburban Auckland (yes, the one in New Zealand), she’s made it pretty big. Especially since her song is about not being rich. Oh, and her real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor. Yeah, we like Lorde better, too.

Have a story, event, or Maybach that you’d like to share? Drop us a line at blog@thewelcomingcommittee.com.

The Weekly Pineapple

The government is shut down, but TWC parties on. Whether or not the CDC can comment on the festivities, GQB on Friday night is going down. Check out what else is in store:

  • Thursday: Didn’t manage to score VIP tickets to Boston Fashion Week’s runway show finale? Not to worry, there are plenty more events this weekend. Check out fashion photography projected in the Cyclorama, or a student show at Copley Place.

  • Friday: GQB turns six! Join us in Cambridge, where it all began, for a night of all the usual festivities. Last month at Tequila Rain we over 800 members showed up, so get on the list to find out where we’re going this time. 9pm, Cambridge (venue announced Thursday), $5.

  • Saturday: It’s October, which can only mean one thing: Octoberfest. Boston’s Harpoon Brewery is celebrating for the 24th year with beer, bratwurst, bands, and more beer. 2-9pm, doors close at 7:30, 306 Northern Avenue, Boston, $20.

  • Sunday: The Boston Local Food Festival is bringing sustainability, local agriculture, cooking demonstrations, and, most importantly, food trucks to the Greenway this Sunday. Shop, eat, learn, enjoy. 11am-5pm, Rose Kennedy Greenway at Atlantic Ave. and Milk St., Boston, free.

Have a story, event, or beer stein  that you’d like to share? Drop us a line at blog@thewelcomingcommittee.com.

Shit Gays Should Know

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Sporty gays should know that registration for the Santa Speedo Run on December 14 in Boston opens today. The event is a fundraiser for the Play Ball Foundation, which works with local kids to teach them life skills through sports. Spots fill up quick, so if you’re looking to go for a frigid run with plenty of bikinied and be-speedoed friends, sign up soon.

Have a story, event, or Santa hat that you’d like to share? Drop us a line at blog@thewelcomingcommittee.com.

Five Things You Shouldn’t Have Missed (And One You Should’ve)

Still trying to wash the glitter out of your hair from the Donkey Show? We know, it can take a few days. Here’s what happened while you were in the shower:

  • Pastagate: Barilla’s chairman says he would never feature a gay family in an ad, unleashing a big pot of backlash. Barilla’s American division apologizes. Other brands, meanwhile, reach out to gays.

  • Marriage news: George H.W. and Barbara Bush are witnesses to a gay wedding ceremony in Maine, while in New Jersey same-sex marriages could start next week. Hurry up, PA!

  • Two of our favorite memes, @horse_ebooks on Twitter and PronunciationBook on Youtube, are actually one and the same. And part of a giant art project. Which has been going on for five years. And has culminated in a video game.

  • Lesbian WNBA players receive fouls for kissing each other. On the cheek. Pretty much everyone can agree that that’s excessive.

  • Madonna’s “Secret Project” is finally revealed, and everyone goes, “Wait, what?”

And everyone has been posting this, but really, it just seems like straight people problems.  

Have a story, event, or art film that you’d like to share? Drop us a line at blog@thewelcomingcommittee.com.

Boston’s October Takeover Lineup

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Here at TWC HQ, we’re continuing to take shit over, and have been hard at work to make this fall utterly ridiculous. From Museums and Author Salons to Newbie Parties and our biggest lesbian takeover yet, here’s what’s in store:

Newbie Party! Wednesday, October 2nd. 6:30 - 9:00pm. Beacon Hill.
We don’t bite. But just in case you didn’t know that, we’re hosting a party for TWC newbies (and those who love them) so you can show up and ask us things like: How many people will make out with me at GQB? Can I park my U-haul at events? Details here. Brings friends or show up stag. We’ll love you for it.

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Guerrilla Queer Bar Birthday. October 4th. 9pm.
6 years ago GQB started with 30 people at a bar in Central Square. And now we’re headed back to that particular side of the river with hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of gays. Want in on location specifics? Join the movement here. #We’reAdorableAndSuperFun #EspeciallyWhenWe’reWearingWarPaint #AndWhenItsOurBirthday

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Speed Dating. October 11th. 7pm.
Welcome to our complete bastardization of speed dating for gay men. Normally you sit in lines, talk to 4 people for 10 minutes and leave with a name tag. This time, you’ll be standing in circles, talking to 18 men for 4 minutes a piece and leaving with a new list of love interests and friends. Wanna know more? Click here and you shall receive

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Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Takeover. October 17th. 5-9pm.
We’re throwing our second museum takeover at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to allow art to be experienced the way Isabella had originally intended: A museum full of gay people sipping cocktails while staring at the art and fellow patrons with equal amounts of passion. Cocktails. Scavenger hunts. Artist talks. Oh my. 

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Flannel Takeover Company, 3rd Saturdays. October 19th. 9pm.
Lesbians rejoice, this is Guerrilla Queer Bar for women on the 3rd Saturday of every month. Last months over 400 of you stormed Who’s On First in the Fenway area for our largest FTC to date. This month is going to be even better. Want to join us and take back what’s rightfully ours? Join the movement here. And check out what Autostraddle had to say about FTC here.

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Newbie Party! Tuesday, Oct 29th. 6:30 - 9:00pm. Kendall Sq. 
In case 1 newbie party wasn’t enough to satiate your meeting new insta-friends appetite, we’ll be throwing a second one at the end of October so you can show up to meet The Corps and Crew. Grab a cocktail. Meet other newbies. And ask us anything. Just let us know you’re coming by RSVPing here

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Shit Gays Should Know

Tomorrow, September 27, is National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Though gay and bisexual men are still the most vulnerable, it’s now clear that LGBTQ equality is important to stop the spread of HIV. States that enact anti-gay laws see, on average, an increase of 4 HIV cases per 100,000 people. Fighting for laws like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, is now more important than ever. See how you can get involved. It could save your life.

Have a story, event, or awareness day that you’d like to share? Drop us a line at blog@thewelcomingcommittee.com.

Getting to Know: Corps Member Andrew Rayner #6802

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Hometown: Chicago. As Kanye West said, “I’m so Chi that you thought I was bashful.” (For the record, I’m not bashful.)

His current neighborhood: South End.

What’s your day job?  I helped open a charter school last year, and I now work there as a learning specialist/special education teacher for sixth graders.

What is something most people don’t know about you? I abhor ketchup. The smell makes me a bit queasy.

Who’s your favorite superhero? I’m kind of a huge geek for this kind of stuff. It’s a toss up. I love Batman. He’s complex while being just a regular dude who wants to do the right thing. Him or Gambit from the X-Men. Such a stud. And he throws cards. Baller.

I believe you’re one of the Corps members that has a karaoke obsession. What is your go-to song? Obsession is strong, but I do find myself at Club Café almost every Wednesday. Currently? “Bad” by Michael Jackson or “Feeling Good” by Michael Bublé.

What song would you like to sing, but you don’t since it’s out of your range? Or has that ever stopped you from singing it? One of my singing idols is Christina Aguilera. While she has lost some of her luster (mostly because her song writing is just not as good as it use to be), she used to kill it back in the day. I can pretty much accurately sing “What a Girl Wants” and “Walk Away,” but sadly I have to do it an octave lower. Definitely not as impressive.

Favorite Stevie Wonder song? So this dude is actually my music idol (and the greatest singer of all time, I would argue). I would have to say it’s a toss up between “You Met Your Match” and “I Was Made to Love Her.”

Which Boston-area bar do you frequent regularly? Outside of Club Café I find myself at Sister Sorel and Drink the most.

If you were forced to keep one personal item and toss out the rest of your belongings, what item would you keep? I have a manila folder covered in pictures of my family and stuffed full of all of the cards, letters, and notes of love and encouragement that I have received since my junior year of high school. It’s about the width of a football now and I bring it everywhere I go. That, or my copy of “Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

Name one celebrity crush. Hands down, Kit Harrington, who is better known as Jon Snow on “Game of Thrones.” I just wanna play with his hair. 

What brings you to tears? People at their best, when harm is done to children, or a perfectly timed chord progression/resolution in a song. 

How has being a member of the Corps aided your coming-out experience? While I was out to most of my close friends and associates in college, I didn’t come out to my parents until after I joined the Corps. I remember telling the Corps members at our first brunch that I hadn’t come out to my parents but had planned on doing it soon. They regaled me with their coming-out stories—the glorious and the tragic. It was great for me to know that I had this incredible group of friends who had been through what I was about to go through and would support me no matter what. When I got back to Boston after telling my parents, the Corps members surprised me at the airport with a glittered sign that said “Andrew, We Love You!” It was one of the nicest things anyone had ever done for me.  

What does TWC mean to you? It wasn’t until I dove into TWC that I really felt like I had found my own place in Boston where I could fully be me. To me, TWC screams what community should be: a group where you come as you are and someone will always have a hug to give and some glitter to spread on your face. I needed that, and I think everyone who walks through the doors of one of our events realizes that they need it a little bit, too.

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Andrew was interviewed by Corps alum Fred Durso #4042, who blogs at freddurso.wordpress.com

The Weekly Pineapple

Fashion.  Music.  And a whole lot of glitter.  Welcome to your weekend.

  • Thursday: Whether you’re a fashion fanatic or have only heard of Proenza Schouler from that video, you’ll probably want to see the duo behind the brand, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, speak as part of Boston Fashion Week. 6:30pm, Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave., Boston, $15 students and members, $20 non-members.

  • Friday: Starting Friday, Harvard Square will be covered in music for the New England Americana Festival.  Check out acts in Winthrop Park, Brattle Square, Tommy Doyle’s, and even Tasty Burger.  Friday through Sunday, venues around Harvard Square, Cambridge, free.

  • Saturday: The Donkey Show might be the gayest piece of theater ever staged in Boston, but straight people seem to be enjoying it a little too much. Rude. Join over 150 TWCers as we reclaim the glitter-fest for our own and dance the night away. 10:30pm, Oberon, 2 Arrow St., Cambridge, $20 with TWC discount.

  • Sunday: Open Streets is back, this time taking over Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester.  Enoy your streets with free performances, outdoor fitness, and art.  1-5pm, Blue Hill Avenue, Dorchester, free.

Have a story, event, or disco ball that you’d like to share? Drop us a line at blog@thewelcomingcommittee.com.