TOLEDO, Ohio — Tickets are available for Equality Toledo's second annual fashion show fundraiser, FLAUNT, which will highlight some of the region’s leading clothing designers as well as transgender supermodel Lauren Foster.
The event is Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at One Lake Erie Center, 600 Jefferson Ave., and coincides with the start of Transgender Awareness Week. Tickets are $50 and are available through Equality Toledo's Facebook page.
Toledo drag queen Deja Dellataro and DJ3PM will host the evening's festivities. Participating designers include names such as House of Him, Eden Couture and House of Dow. Featured restaurants will showcase hors d'oeuvres from Souk, Hannon’s Block, Hamburger Mary’s and several others. Performances from the Toledo Opera, Toledo Ballet, Toledo Symphony, and Toledo School for the Arts will take place between or during runway walks.
“Saturday also begins Transgender Awareness Week, which is why we are so excited to have someone like Lauren here in Toledo, celebrating our community and the deep-rooted influence LGBTQ+ individuals have on our mainstream culture,” said Brent Rabie, deputy director of ET.
Foster, a celebrated transgender model and actress, made international headlines in the 1980s when she appeared in the pages of Vogue Magazine. For Transgender Awareness Week, she specifically remembers Kristina Grant, a Miami woman murdered six years ago.
Grant, also known as Kristina Gomez Reinwald, was the eighth of 21 trans persons to be murdered in 2015, at age 46.
“The savagery has only gotten worse,” Foster said. “2020 saw a total of 44 fatal incidents, making it the most violent year on record for trans and non-conforming people. It sickens me and makes me sad that in 2021, vicious brutality ensues.”
This year has already seen at least 41 transgender or gender non-conforming people fatally shot or killed by other violent means, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
“Gatherings like this are both a time of celebration and reflection; remembering and continuing to fight for those who are part of our LGBTQ+ family,” said Rabie.