Club 1722 Youth Project

in Groups and Organizations

The Club 1722 Youth Project, an outreach and mentorship program geared toward “HIV prevention and education initiatives” for African American LGBTQ+ youth, was established in 1999 by BlackOut Unlimited. The Club 1722 Youth Project secured funding and resources from a partnership established between BlackOut Unlimited and the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland. To engage youths and foster a sense of community, the Club 1722 Youth Project hosted weekly youth group meetings at the LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland (then located at 6600 Detroit Avenue). Group meetings were largely conversation-based and engaged topics ranging from “self identity, sexual identity, HIV and safer sex, career planning, and goal setting.”

In 2001, the Club 1722 Youth Project founded the annual Flawless Ball, an house ball event and fundraiser. The Flawless Ball, held annually at Cleveland’s Gordon Square Theater between 2001 and 2004, attracted “[ballroom] houses [from] as far away as Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., and New York” to compete. Ballroom culture, a “tradition found in urban communities of LGBTQ people of color,” first emerged in 1970s New York and spread to major urban centers in subsequent decades. Houses, loosely defined as “collectives of LGBTQ people organized around parental and family figures,” converged at house ball events to “compete against each other in a variety of categories ranging from convincing drag to archetypal gender portrayal.” Drawing from the culture and traditions of Cleveland’s established house and ballroom communities, the Flawless Ball provided space for African American LGBTQ youths to engage in creative expression, find a sense of belonging and acceptance, and forge community. Ticket sales from the Flawless Ball befitted the program’s various “youth outreach initiatives.”

In 2004, the Club 1722 Youth project shuttered following the dissolution of the partnership between BlackOut Unlimited and the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland. The Club 1722 Youth Project was subsequently replaced by the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland’s Beyond Identities Community Center (BICC).

Additional information coming soon.


  • Barnett, Derek. “Club 1722 Gives HIV Info to African-American LGBT Youth.” Gay People’s Chronicle. September 24, 1999. Page 9.
  • “Club 1722.” BlackOut Unlimited.
  • Coleman, Chris. “Club 1722 Offers A Chance for Flawless Realness.” Gay People’s Chronicle. February 15, 2002. Page 7.
  • Gipson, L. Michael. “Against the Odds.” Gay People’s Chronicle. November 25, 2005.
  • Glassman, Anthony. “Cleveland is Burning.” Gay People’s Chronicle. March 1, 2002. Page 1.
  • Glassman, Anthony. “Flawless Decor.” Gay People’s Chronicle. March 2, 2001. Page 1.
6600 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102 (LGBT Community Center, former location).

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