No Pants No Problem: after Montréal, Washington, DC!
Jessica Whitbread, founder of the infectiously popular “No Pants, No Problem!” benefit dance parties for AIDS ACTION NOW! is taking the party on the road for the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington after two fabulously successful recent parties in Montréal.
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Glam Gam Productions, Tom McGraw and POMPe got together to raise over $1000 for STELLA and AIDS ACTION NOW! when No Pants No Problem! came to Théatre Ste-Catherine last June 16. Now the activist and organizer behind it is heading to Washington to do more than incite pantslessness: it’s part of her mission to make safe & sexy space for HIV positive people and their buddies.
Started in 2003 with her wittily named Kill Him… Hide the Body Productions, Whitbread’s No Pants events have become somewhat of a benefit party phenomenon, gathering a delicious cross-section of the queer, trans, poz, and generally exhibitionistic hotties in Toronto, Montréal, and Mexico City. No Pants No Problem “on the surface is an underwear dance party that raises money for organizations whose mandate is to advocate for HIV and sexual/gender rights,” Jessica Whitbread writes. “Beyond this NPNP is a place where people get together and build/bridge communities, to challenge binary sexual and gender norms as well as constrictive inner dialogues about body image and self esteem.” It’s also part of the event’s peculiar charm that it was started by Whitbread, a queer HIV positive woman, in a community largely represented by gay men, she points out.
But, between you and me, it’s WAY more fun than that sounds! Their Washington, DC, event in the midweek of the IAC (July 25) will take place at a country & Western bar only blocks from the US Capitol and Senate buildings. It’s not the venue that counts: it’s the butts. Oh right, and the cause!
Whitbread is joining AIDS ACTION NOW!’s Alex McClelland and Toronto artist/health-worker Mikiki for a presentation on their Poster/Virus series in the “Global Village” segment of the mega-conference. The AAN! troupe will also be ring-leading all of the Canadians at the conference to join a giant “We Can End AIDS” march on July 24. AAN! plans to do a series of actions to enliven the Conference experience, both for participants and visiting dignitaries.
No Pants No Problem – XIX International AIDS Conference Edition
Wed. July 25 @ Remingtons Nightclub. $10 no pants, $15 with (pants)
639 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC
Photos by Emilio Edson Garcia aka El Negro