HRC HER 2015

HRC brings back the ’80s for a one-night celebration

By Hana Khalyleh – Feb. 26, 2015 (Photos by Jennifer Tristan/

It’s time to dust off the shoulder pads and break out the crimping iron for the Human Rights Campaign’s tubular event of the year: Phoenix HER HRC 2015.

Flaming Queens 1 (c) Jen Tristan, 61 Productions

The Flaming Queens are set to perform at this years HER HRC 2015.

The annual event’s theme this year is “Totally ‘80s,” but instead of getting into a DeLorean time machine, attendees are encouraged dig out their accouterments of decades past and don the once-beloved scrunchies and legwarmers.

HER HRC 2015, an event “designed to celebrate everything that is amazing about women,” will take place at the Wyndham Garden Phoenix Midtown Hotel March 13.

According to Bridget Dougherty, HER planning committee chair, the goal of HER HRC is “celebrating women for what it means to be a woman, regardless of gender history or orientation.”

Dougherty said the theme was selected because it appeals to such a broad demographic.

“The ‘80s is a decade I feel every age group can get behind,” she said. “It’s a time everybody understands and loves.”

And, just like any good ‘80s party, guests are encouraged to show up in their favorite decade-specific gear and be ready to dance.

The Flaming Queens, Phoenix’s own trans/drag glam band with the mission of “shattering preconceptions,” will provide entertainment and transport guests back to an era where Cyndi Lauper and Culture Club ruled the dance floors.

“The HRC has done so much for the LGBT Community, we were honored to be asked to perform,” said J.J. Öbscene, the band’s bassist. “HER HRC was the fire we needed to get The Flaming Queens flaming again.”

The band, which includes Öbscene, lead vocalist Pandora de Strange, Ēva D’Struction on guitar and Roc Depussy on drums, promises to “transport you back to a time of big hair, platform boots and thick black eyeliner,” according to its Facebook page.

“We’re the perfect band to celebrate ‘80s music,” Öbscene added. “It’s the era we grew up listening to, it’s the era that ignited our passion for music and it’s the era we mostly play songs from.”

And, according to Dougherty, to band will perform a special ‘80s-themed lineup of hits for the event.

“It’s just going to be keeping up the energy of the dancing room at the Wyndham,” Dougherty said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The evening will also feature local poets and comedians, as well as a contest for the best ‘80s costume, the winner of which will receive a staycation at the host hotel.

The Herstorians, a group dedicated to teaching and spreading information on women’s history, will also be involved in this year’s event.

According to Dawn Brodek, a Herstorian representative working on the HER HRC committee, the Herstorians are excited to celebrate contributions of women in the past, as well as encourage the making of history by young women today.

The proceeds of HER HRC 2015 will go towards other HRC efforts in Arizona and throughout the country, and every ticket purchased comes with a yearlong HRC membership or membership renewal.

Last year’s event, which featured a “Winter Wonderland White” theme, drew between 150 and 200 attendees. And, according to Dougherty, ticket sales for the 2015 event are expected to be around the same, if not more.

Anyone interested in volunteering for HER HRC 2015, Dougherty added, may sign up online at


HER HRC 2015
7-11 p.m. March 13
Wyndham Garden Phoenix Midtown Hotel
3600 N. Second Ave., Phoenix
Admission: Through March 1: $20; students and military, $15
March 1-13: $25; students and military, $20