"Follow Me in Atlantic City isn't just a LGBTQ thing, it's an everybody thing," said Jeff Lacey, a core member of 2nd Level Productions host of the city's inaugural Follow Me event. "It's the first-ever event like this in Atlantic City celebrating the individuality of all people from all walks of life."
Follow Me is a festival-type event set for Oct. 6 at Atlantic City's historic Steel Pier in celebration of National Coming Out Day, which is Oct. 11 The event is hosted by 2nd Level Productions, a city-based program aimed at promoting acceptance and individuality of all people, particularly those within the LGBTQ community, and with all donations benefiting the South Jersey AIDS Alliance. Formed in June, 2nd Level Productions is an offshoot of the Oasis drop-in center in Atlantic City, which provides assistance to city residents who are either HIV positive or at risk of becoming HIV positive. Oasis, and 2nd Level Productions, is funded by the State of New Jersey Division of AIDS with services provided by South Jersey AIDS Alliance
"(2nd Level Productions) is a group of people trying to empower the community through different activates held throughout the year," Oasis Health Educator Travis Love said. Follow Me is 2nd Level Productions' biggest event since its inception. Previous events have included poetry slams, cooking classes and motivational talks.
Saturday's event will include live music by DJ Khamal and DJ Joey the Hatt, a diva drag show, appearances by Mr. Gay New Jersey and Miss'd America 2012, vendors handing out information on local support services and city agencies, voter registration booths, food vendors and a cash bar. The Master of Ceremonies will be Tammy White, who goes by Ms. Tammy. Directly following the event at 8 p.m. will be an after-party at ProBar in Resorts Casino.
Love said he expects at least 100 people to attend Saturday's event, which will go on rain or shine.
Lacey said the team has already started planning for next year's celebration.
"I think this will be something that people will look back on and talk about," he said. "They'll be proud to have been a part of the city's first annual Coming Out Day event."
Contact Elisa Lala:
If you go
Follow Me event in celebration of National Coming Out Day 2012, hosted by 2nd Level Productions, sponsored by the South Jersey AIDS Alliance
Steel Pier, 1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City.
4 to 8 p.m. Oct. 6. After-party at ProBar starting at 8 p.m.
The event is free. It is to help raise awareness for National Coming Out Day and donations for the South Jersey AIDS Alliance. Bring bubbles and blankets. Call 609-572-1929 or see facebook.com/FollowMeInAC2012.