Less hopping

Annual LGBT* event struggles to sell tickets

Claire Thompson (left) is helping out with HomoHop, an event organized by LGBT* Centre coordinator Jezy Morales (right).

Photo by Keeley Braunstein-Black

The LGBT* Centre is hosting its 23rd annual Homo Hop party. But this year, students aren’t buying tickets.

Jezy Morales, the LGBT* Centre coordinator, is organizing the party, and although past events have been successful, this year it’s been a challenge to get people to pay before the event.

“Whenever you plan an event, you’re going to be anxious about attendance, but I am anxious about it,” Morales says. “So far, we’ve had a lot of interest in it. It’s just that getting people to have their tickets paid for [is hard].”

One thing the centre wants to purchase with the profits from Homo Hop is a flag celebrating Indigenous people who identify as two-spirited. This year, Morales wants to “focus on the intersection of race and queerness,” but a flag turned out to be much more expensive than expected – around $200.

Even though the space is partially funded by the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA), the centre is still a non-profit organization, which means if the members want something, they usually have to fundraise.

Claire Thompson, an LGBT* Centre member helping out with the event, says a common misconception is that the event is only for people who identify as part of the LGBT* community.

“We find that former centre members often come back, professors show up,” Thompson says. “We really do find it’s difficult to entice allies and LGBT* people who may not be out or may be concerned about being seen in an LGBT*- positive environment.”

This year’s Homo Hop theme is “Video Gaymes,” with the festivities centering around video games and gaming culture. Some recent games feature LGBT* characters who are important to the story, and some games even let you play as a queer character. Games such as Dragon Age and Mass Effect feature diverse supporting characters and even let the player romance whomever they want, regardless of gender.

Organizers picked the video game theme to help the event stand out and hopefully bring in more attendees. Even though they’re still nervous, Morales is hopeful the community will support them.

“A lot of people don’t buy tickets [ahead of time], and they just show up and we’re like, ‘okay I guess we have more people!’... As long as people show up to the event, I’m not too worried.” 

Homo Hop is on Thursday, Nov. 10 at Garbonzo’s. Tickets are $12.

Published in Volume 71, Number 9 of The Uniter (November 3, 2016)

Related Reads