Hetrick-Martin's STARS Awards Ball Wurks It Out!

Ready for the STARS Ball? Justin was… And down on the floor, even the Hetrick-Martin staff were striking poses.

Were you out in high school? Did you have a posse of fabulous and devoted gay friends to call your own? How about your own ball-rocking "house" to back you up? If not, then you might learn a thing or two from the brave and brilliant kids who are served by the good folks at NYC’s Hetrick-Martin Institute which provides services for at-risk (and just plain fierce) LGBT youth. Hetrick-Martin also runs the Harvey Milk High School, which was pretty much the first LGBT high school to provide a safe haven where endangered kids can get an education in peace.

All that said, the Hetrick-Martin kids now how to throw down and have a ball. Last Thursday was their annual STARS Ball, where the kids bring forth their "houses" for a voguing and walking competition that would make the LaBeijas and Extravaganzas of Paris Is Burning very, very proud. The houses competing included those of McQueen, Mujer, Mini, Mafia and the Pink Ladies.

We got to attend and snap some photos, and the evening was inspiring. The theme was "Disturbia" and the children infused the night’s events with a vocal and thematic message about safe-sex and HIV Awareness. Most impressive was the confidence and fun that they all brought to the occasion. Gay, trans, lesbian — all was represented and honored.

You get the idea… Just check out the pics and gag at the fabulosity, already. More details after the jump!

FYI, all kinds of awards were doled out before the voguing battles began: Snagging a few were Symba McQueen for House Father of the Year, Remy Mini for House Mother of the Year and winning House of the Year? It was the fierce kids of McQueen. They owned it!

When it came time for the voguing categories, the kids got creative. Here’s a sample:

Butch Queen Performance – Jack Frost Vs. The Grinch: This was an acrobatic voguing throwdown with competitors dressed in their own take on holiday finery. Elf realness, okaaayyy?

The Open to All Hair Affair – Precision Hair Cut Vs. Ovah Hair Style

Realness with a Twist – Bring It Like a Lone Circus Freak or Clown

Mini-Grand America’s Next Top Disturbed Dance Crew with a Safer Sex Message: This was a group of 4-6 kids, dancing together with a message. Where’s Mario Lopez & Lil’ Mama?

The affair was emceed by Simba McQueen, Father Tigger Mini and Dashuan Evisu — they all ruled the mics with wit and energy.

But just check the pics. Hotness abounds!

Welcome to Disturbia, Children…

Right away, we met Leilani. Gorgeous!

Emcee Father Tigger Mini brought sass to the mic.

The tables for each house were gussied up. This one’s for the House of Mujer.

And here’s just some of the honor snagged by the House of McQueen.

The esteemed judges are assembled on the stage. Let the competition begin!

As soon as the action starts, the crowd gets wild. When a contestant pulls something fierce, it’s ON!

For example, what’s in the box?

Then out pops this bit of hotness who worked the floor.

Justine Mujer is ready to bring it for the dance crew competition. Helleaux!

Goya is a proud alum of Hetrick-Martin; now she’s a peer counselor who helps the other kids.

As the competition rolls on, the kids face-off time after time. These gurls are ready.

And yes, they will take this battle to the floor.

Things get contentious. Everybody gets on their feet and screams and cheers for their faves. It’s 360-degree amazingness. But it all stays sweet. It’s clear these kids love and support each other.

So we’ll say goodbye with a smile from Nickie, another Hetrick-Martin sucess. Thanks, kids! Stay fierce.

John Polly is a former editor at NewNowNext. He now makes the magic happen at World of Wonder.