This Saturday night, over a hundred BC students made the trek from all ends of campus to Eagle's Nest in the pouring rain and icy cold weather. The occasion meriting heels and short dresses despite the temperature? Busing for UGBC's annual Gala.
This year's Gala was held at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel and featured Dr. Stephen Boswell as the keynote speaker. Despite the weather, inside the Westin's rich and spacious ballroom, the atmosphere was warm and inviting. Guests were able to select their desired table out of a sea of options, and then had the pleasure of the visiting the buffet.
Dinner choices included customizable salads, steak, salmon and roasted vegetables. Attendees were pleased with the quality of the food matching, if not exceeding, the $20 ticket price.
After dinner and some mingling, Dr. Stephen Boswell took the podium. Eagerly forks were put down and chairs were turned towards Dr. Boswell, as the audience became entirely enthralled with what he had to say. Dr. Boswell spoke about the progress of the LBGTQ community, and how Fenway Health has been a key catalyst in treating LGBTQ patients, and HIV medicine's progress, in general.
The President and Chief Executive Officer of Fenway Health, Dr. Boswell spoke passionately, and as he mentioned accomplishments, the audience responded with applause. Dr. Boswell began his speech with gay marriage and adoption statistics, marveling at how far LGBTQ rights have come since he was a college student, nearly 50 years ago.
Most interestingly, Dr. Boswell talked about Fenway Health, a remarkable resource for the LBGTQ community hosted right in our backyard. Fenway Health's mission is cited as the following, according to their website:
The mission of Fenway Health is to enhance the wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and all people in our neighborhoods and beyond through access to the highest quality health care, education, research and advocacy.
Fenway Health offers primary and specialty care (HIV/AIDS, obstetrics, gynecology, gerontology, podiatry, and nutritional counseling) along with community outreach and counseling, family and parenting services, complementary therapies, radiology services, dental and eye care, a full-service pharmacy and behavioral health services. Most importantly, Fenway Health is credited as being the nation's first community-based HIV research program, dating back to 1985.
Citing statistics on research discoveries and patients treated by Fenway Health, Dr. Boswell brought his speech back to the students by stressing the importance of creating LBGTQ infrastructure. He was touched by the support generated for the LBGTQ community at Gala, and he encouraged those attending to continue their support by thinking long-term. As the generation at the front of all this progress, both social and political, Dr. Boswell believes that we have the power to continue LBGTQ advancement.
Judging by the turn-out and experience at Gala, Dr. Boswell seems to be right. Thank you to UGBC, and specifically the Diversity and Inclusion Programming Board, for such an inspiring and enjoyable celebration.