By Dan Meyer, EDGE Media Network Contributor
It’s no secret that America is split on the idea of Valentine’s Day. For singles, it either means finding a new love interest or eating Ben & Jerry’s at home while watching “An Affair to Remember.” For couples, it’s a chance to rekindle the romance or waste money on chocolates, flowers and overpriced foods.
In Boston, the Prudential building might not shine red, purple and pink, but love is still in the air with events around the city for LGBT singles and couples alike to celebrate the Hallmark holiday of love.
There’s even a special event for our community’s youth. On Feb. 9 at the Harriet Tubman Center in the South End neighborhood, Boston Pride is hosting its inaugural Valentine’s Day Dance for LGBT Youth. The event is open to anyone aged 20 and younger, and tickets are available online.
Host DJ Lakia Mondale, Queen of Boston Pride 2010, will be there to play hip-hop, Latin and Top 40 music. In addition, Mystique Summers, from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” is scheduled for a performance.
“What I’m excited most about is that I’m performing for the youngest age group ever,” Summers told EDGE. “Most of the places I entertain at the age limit is 21 and up and it will be great to hang and meet the fans that are 20 and under.”
Throughout the night, Boston’s Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Youth (BAGLY) will be there to offer free HIV testing, a necessary service given recent reports of a rise in infections of Americans under 25.
The Valentine’s Day Dance will be held on Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Harriet Tubman Center, 566 Columbus Ave. in Boston. Tickets are $5 ($7 at the door). For more info, visit http://www.bostonpride.org/youthpride/valentines-day
Your heart can’t sit on the shelf forever — unless maybe it’s sealed in Tupperware! Join LGBT Jewish group Keshet on Feb. 9 for its Tupperware Party: Keshet’s Singles Mix & Mingle Party.
Keshet, an LGBT Jewish group, has held events like this before. And while the theme might be ’50s, the event is named after two members of the group, Yocheved Tupper and Joanna Ware, said Dan Schulman, Keshet’s Massachusetts’s community organizer.
“For a really long time [Keshet] was associated with singles events like speed dating,” said Schulman. “We had a singles committee that would plan these events. Last year we did a similar event and we decided to do it again, but make it a little bit more happy or just tongue-in-cheek, really.”
The invite certainly evokes that sentiment, as it read, “Let Keshet be your yenta and put a little Marvin ’Gay’e in your life. Whether you’re single or open, poly, or kink, get ready to have your lid flipped or find your bashert at our special Tupper-Ware event.”
The event features music by DJ Tupperware, and gives guests the option to have fun and be with other people around Valentine’s Day.
“You might find someone you’re meant to be with or you might meet someone just for the night,” said Schulman.
Join Keshet at 6 p.m. on Feb. 9 at 283 Amory Street. RSVP by Feb. 6 at http://www.keshetonline.org/event/tupperware-party-keshets-singles-mix-mingle-party/
Ladies need love, too, and HUES, a program of the Hispanic and Black Gay Coalition in Boston, hosts a womyn-only speed-dating event, “Possibilities… in Luv.”
“We spell it ’womyn’ to take the ’men’ part out,” said Nichole Herring, a member of HUES. The event is geared towards LGBTQ Black and Hispanic womyn who want to find relationships that are romantic or platonic.
“We noticed that often in social space we wanted to meet other brown womyn, but rarely had the opportunity,” she explained. “We created this event in the hopes that womyn, like us, got the opportunity to meet other brown women in the community. Even if platonic relationships spark it will be a success…but Valentine’s Day is around the corner so we’re hoping for a little romantic inspiration!”
Following that event is “Communities…in Luv” to celebrate the launch of HUES. This is much less romantically themed, but still aims to bring womyn in Boston together.
“Possibilities…in Luv” will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Makeshift Gallery, 549 Columbus Ave. in Boston. Tickets are $5, and only 30 spots are available, so be sure to RSVP at http://possibilitiesinluv.eventbrite.com/%29#
For couples or singles looking for something a bit raunchier, Rogue Burlesque presents “Film Strip” at the Oberon Theater, just in time for the holiday.
“Looking for dinner…and a boobie?,” begins the event description. “Whether you bring your babe or your BFF, the 21st Century Foxes of Rogue Burlesque guarantee an award-winning night in Film Strip!”
Cast members chimed in about their upcoming performance.
“Nothing says sexy like a high-stakes ’Karate Kid’ burlesque finale!” said creative director Busty Keaton.
“This show is rated R for partial nudity, adult themes and my dressing up like a praying mantis,” added Ms. Sassypants, punctuating it with a “Rawr!”
Rogue Burlesque’s “Film Strip” will be held on Feb. 10 and 17 at 8 p.m. at the Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle Street, and Oberon, 2 Arrow St, both in Cambridge. Advance tickets are $15 standing/ $20 for a table ($5 extra at the door). For info, visit http://www.americanrepertorytheater.org/events/show/ilm-strip
Dan Meyer is a young professional whose stories have appeared in publications such as The Advocate online and UCLA’s LGBT magazine entitled “OutWrite.” He is also a part-time ESL teacher in Boston.