The Cotillion Ball is a time honored Southern tradition of presenting young women to the upper crust of society, but a group of gay men continue to turn tradition on its ear by becoming “debutantes” themselves to raise funds to fight HIV and AIDS.
Over the past decade, the Atlanta Cotillion has raised more than $750,000 for AID Atlanta by playfully mocking tradition. Men dressed as women — but this is too formal an event to call it drag — compete for the title of Queen by raising funds.
Even though this is a rough financial year, Cotillion chairperson Darrell Burke hopes to raise $125,000, one of the larger amounts ever donated by a Cotillion.
“We’ve always hovered between a $100,000 and a $128,000, so $125,000 is up there, but wouldn’t be our record,” Burke said. “We’re also looking to surpass the 400 guest mark. We traditionally have been between 360 and 380 and we think we can realistically meet or exceed 400.”