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KINKY BOOTS to Host One Night Only Benefit With Columbia University Medical Center, 3/20

It was announced today that a new program at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) has been established to improve the health and well-being of LGBT individuals.

The Initiative's research efforts will recognize the diversity within the LGBT population and the urgent need to understand the intersections among gender identity, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, social class, and age, as well as the specific needs of different groups. In celebration of this cutting-edge and much needed expansion of health services for the LGBT community, the new Broadway musical Kinky Boots will host a special one-night-only event at the show, featuring a pre-show cocktail reception with composer/lyricist Cyndi Lauper and director Jerry Mitchell, and a post-show talkback with book writer and gay rights icon Harvey Fierstein. The evening will be co-sponsored by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and all proceeds will go directly to program development for the Initiative for LGBT Health.

In a joint statement, Fierstein and Lauper stated, "We have both been deeply involved in advancing equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community for decades, so we know good people when we see them. We're honored to be joining the renowned researchers and clinicians of Columbia University Medical Center to raise awareness for their groundbreaking Initiative. Kinky Boots is very much about the power of self acceptance and emotional health. We believe that this new program can strengthen not only the LGBT community, but all of New York."

The vision guiding the newly established LGBT Health Initiative at CUMC is to draw upon the world-class clinical, research, and educational resources of the renowned medical center to insure the health and well-being of every member of the LGBT community and their loved ones. This unprecedented move to harness the resources of CUMC on behalf of the LGBT community will foster long-needed research efforts, create innovative medical and mental health services, lead to the training of students and practitioners, and promote the development of outreach strategies specific to today's critical needs. The Initiative is led by Director Anke A. Ehrhardt, Ph.D., also Director of the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health at the NYS Psychiatric Institute and the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry and Co-Director Walter O. Bockting, Ph.D. an internationally known sexuality researcher at Columbia.

Tickets to the benefit performance, the pre-show cocktail reception and post-show talk-back are available by calling Leigh Ann Brienza, Director of Development, at 212-304-7227, or by email at lab2213@columbia.edu.

Kinky Boots, directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell, begins previews on Sunday, March 3, 2013, with an official opening night set for Thursday, April 4, 2013.



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