The Welcoming Committee blog

Life is short, start a takeover.
www.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.

Shit Gays Should Know

Want to know what goes into a wedding announcement in the New York Times?  Here are the most popular words, tracked over time.  And yes, same-sex marriages are on the rise, but commitment ceremonies peaked in 2005.  Just don’t say “Phi Beta Kappa.”

Have a story, event, or Latin Honor 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)

Whether you spent the weekend reveling with FTC or bemoaning the official end of summer, here are five things to know this week:

And you’ve probably heard that twerking might just come from an obscure 19th-century German art term.  Of course.  

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

Best Place To… Celebrate National Cheeseburger Day, Guilt Free

So Wednesday was National Cheeseburger Day, and to celebrate we asked the Corps to name their favorite cheeseburgers last week.  We got a lot of submissions for veggie burgers, though, so we just had to share those, too.  Here’s what the Corps has to say about the best vegetarian burgers in Boston:

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Corey says, “The only place I’ve found in Boston that serves Niman Ranch burgers is Ashmont Grill, which I generally like because it’s the only restaurant in that area of Dorchester that’s even halfway decent. Delicious drinks and the bartenders will generally talk your ear off about their exploits at the white party.”

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Fred says, “My pick is the Garden Burger at Boston Beer Works, served on a “buttery grilled bun” and honey dijon dressing. Top off that bad boy with some crumbled blue cheese, and you’ve got a party in your mouth. Don’t forget to order a side of sour cream & chive fries for added ecstasy (the legal kind).”

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Andrew says, “The mushroom-tofu burger at Sam’s on the Waterfront is delicious. They have tasty drinks, indoor and outdoor seating on the waterfront and live music too. It’s located right next to the ICA, which means it perfectly positioned for a pre- or post-date meetup.”

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

Getting to Know: Corps Member Wes Mason #4442

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Hometown: Deerfield, MA

Where the coffeeaholic now resides: Central Square

What’s your caffeinated brew of choice? I can remember the moment when I had my first espresso while in Rome during my senior year of high school. I thought it was amazing. Latte is now a standard. Sip Café [in Boston’s Post Office Square] is probably my favorite coffee spot in the city.  

What’s something most people don’t know about you? I have a sleep disorder where I’m tired all the time, which works quite nicely with my love of napping.

That explains all the coffee. Does alcohol also get you charged? I’m not a super big drinker. Very rarely do I get anywhere near anything approaching sloppy. I’m the lady of the Corps.

What’s your day job? I manage IT Support and Services for a startup that does mobile app marketing.

As a self-proclaimed nerd, how do you geek out? Over the last two years, I’ve watched all episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. I also just finished the book Dune, which makes me a big nerd (and simultaneously a terrible one for not having read it until now). I’m a fan of classical music from the Renaissance and Medieval periods. The polyphony and the hauntingly beautiful dissonances are exquisite.

Do you sing solo? Yes, when I’m alone. I’m not awesome at karaoke because of my range. Most male singers in pop music are tenors and I’m in the bass range. Actually, Annie Lennox’s voice works pretty well for me.

You’re 6’7”. Have you ever dated anyone taller than you? I went on a date with a guy who was 6’8”, which was a little weird, but also kind of awesome. I love cuddling with someone around the same height as me; it makes it decidedly less awkward when I want to be the little spoon. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s pretty great.

Favorite animal? I feel like my spirit animal is a baby giraffe. It goes back to being tall and a little awkward, which I’m hoping is endearing. I also like penguins.

What key qualities do you look for in a friend? They should to be good at communicating, though comfortable with silence.  A healthy amount of nerdiness is important, as is social aptitude – and also an appreciation for Arrested Development.

What’s one of your guilty pleasures? Given the opportunity, I can eat an entire bag of salt and vinegar potato chips in a single sitting. I should also never, under any circumstances, be left alone with a jar of Nutella.

Delicious. When you’re not keeping Frito-Lay in business, how else do you unwind? Napping, running, yoga, board gaming, cycling.

How avid a cyclist are you? On weekends, I typically bike from 20 to 60 miles. 

Why did you join the Corps? On one hand, it was an opportunity to meet new people. On the other hand, while I certainly had gay friends before moving to Boston, I never had a solid group of gays and the experience of having sustained gay space. Once I experienced it, I realized how important it was to me. I heard about TWC and loved that the core of its mission is to make comfortable spaces in more places; it’s important for gay people to have those opportunities.

 How would you describe your fellow Corps mates? They have this boundless energy. They’re a loving, caring, crazy group of people.

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Wes savored his Sip coffee [shameless plug #1] while being interviewed by Corps alum Fred Durso #4042, who blogs at freddurso.wordpress.com [shameless plug #2].