On Saturday XXL owner Mark Ames and the whole team at XXL will be marking World AIDS Day with a massive party raising money for GMFA. Dave Cross had a quick catch up with Mark to find out what this day and event means to him.
Hi Mark, do you think it’s important for a club like XXL to mark World AIDS Day with a big event?
Yes, absolutely. I think every LGBTQ business needs to mark this date. It is a date to remember the millions of people who have been lost to this disease and how the LGBTQ scene has fought stigma and hatred to make it acceptable to live with the disease.
Can you tell us why you have chosen to support GMFA this year?
We have a close relationship with GMFA and Michael on the door works for them. We raised money during the RVT/GMFA Sports Day this year and felt it important to continue that support, plus they have no government funding.
XXL has the team from Do It London in the club throughout the year – can you talk about why it’s important to you to have sexual health on the agenda in the club and not just on World AIDS Day?
HIV awareness and testing is a 24/7 issue. It’s not just one day a year. It’s about helping people, giving advice and knowing your status.
How will the fundraising work on Saturday at the club?
We have increased the door price by £1 and we will match that by giving £1 for every £1 on the door and donate the total to GMFA.
And on a slightly more frivolous subject – how are the plans for your Flash Gordon New Year’s Eve coming along?
Well if you thought Christmas was camp, wait until you get a look at Flash Gordon XXL style! Hawkmen to the ready!