Story and photos by Chellie Bowman
Playhouse on the Square was jam-packed last Saturday night with folks out celebrating Condomonium 2017. This outrageous party–featuring burlesque, drag, fashion shows, and comedy–is an annual fundraiser for Choices, a local non-profit organization that provides necessary (and non-judgmental) reproductive health care, education, and policy advocacy to our community. Focus is very proud to have been a sponsor for Condomonium which made over DOUBLE what it did last year, raising a total of $45,000.
The event centers around a fashion show in which local designers create fashions out of condoms. After party-goers voted on this year’s entries, the crowd headed into the auditorium for the fashion show and auction which was led by two amazing hosts, Lizz Winstead, co-creator and head writer of the Daily Show, and D’Lo, a queer comedian and performer from L.A. The spirited emcees started off the night by bringing our favorite Congressman Steve Cohen on stage and auctioning him off. For $4500 a generous audience member in the front row won a dinner date with him and a tour of the capitol. Cohen also promised to divulge secrets about Donald Trump’s love life… (Do we really want to know though?)
Hosts D’Lo and Lizz Winstead auctioning off Steve Cohen
After a couple more items were auctioned off–a beach vacation ($6500) and a Donald Trump voodoo doll ($1000!), the fashion show began. And there were some AMAZING outfits–from steam punk to Marie Antoinette to sci-fi glam. Check a few of them out below:
Although every outfit was incredible, there were two designs that stood out to the audience and the judges–a Beyonce-inspired piece designed by the Director of Nursing at Choices Fawn Ailsworth (modeled by Choices’ Outreach Coordinator Mia Peake) that won the People’s Choice Award First Place and designer Terri Weaver’s piece (modeled by Bella Duballe) which won People’s Choice Runner Up and Most Creative Use of Condoms.
Fawn and Mia accepting the People’s Choice Award First Place!
Terri Weaver and Bella Duballe accepting their award from D’Lo
Apart from the show, Choices Executive Director Rebecca Terrell made a very important announcement on stage–that they are planning to build a birthing center! This would be the city’s first birthing center, a center in which midwives would serve as the primary caregivers. The project will cost $4.2 million and a supporter has already pledged to match half the cost already. So get your wallets and checkbooks ready to donate in the coming months–whatever you pledge will be doubled.
Once the official presentation ended, the crowd made their way back downstairs for more drinks, drag, and burlesque. I’ll leave you with this final image–the last thing I saw before I made my Irish goodbye.