candace gingrich, bentzen ball comedy festivalA few weeks back HRC Consumer Marketing intern Heidi Hurst blogged about the Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival and asked “Who would have thought equality could be so… hilarious?” As someone who likes to infuse her life with humor, I was intrigued and curious myself. Well, as I type this now my stomach and facial muscles are hurting a bit from how much I laughed last night. 

HRC is a beneficiary of the festival so they offered us stage time during opening night. I got to thank the festival organizers Tig Notaro and Brightest Young Things and got to speak briefly about HRC and focused on why coming out still matters. The crowd of 1,200 was welcoming to the message that coming out is still the most powerful thing we can do to turn ignorance into education, for queers and allies alike. And it seems the comedians who were performing heard my bit because almost all of them spoke about coming out – Doug Benson talked about coming out as straight and his plan for celebrating NCOD. In one of the funniest bits of the night, Wyatt Cenec (The Daily Show) shared with us his distrust of vegans and that he’d have no problem if his child were gay, but he would not tolerate a child who was vegan. Tig Notaro, main architect of the festival and out lesbian, closed the show by coming out as someone who may have a horse living in her house. Okay, maybe that coming out doesn’t fit the theme, but still…

You still have plenty of opportunities to find out for yourself how hilarious equality can be – there are still tickets available for many of the ten remaining shows. Fans of Will & Grace and Parks & Recreation should note that one show features two Americans for Marriage Equality, Megan Mullaly and Nick Offerman. Enjoy funny people and support HRC at the same time!

A note about my shirt: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of National Coming Out Day also means the anniversary of Keith Haring’s famous image of a person happily dancing out of a closet. Haring was an artist with a purpose, using his unique style to bring attention to social justice issues such as apartheid and HIV/AIDS. HRC is honored that Haring contributed the iconic artwork to NCOD and are releasing two new shirts celebrating both the activist and the art. Get yours today!

HRC DC steerco

HRC DC Steering Committee volunteers work the HRC table

candace gingrich, bentzen ball comedy festival

bentzen ball comedy festival

HRC, bentzen ball comedy festival

Photos via Brightest Young Things. Click here for more photos and information on the festival.

Filed under: Coming Out

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