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 John Early

The Fenway Health Men’s Event is thrilled to welcome the hilarious John Early as our 2017 MC and comedian! John recently created and starred in his own episode of Netflix’s The Characters. You can also see him in the TBS comedy Search Party, and soon in The Masterpiece opposite Sharon Stone and a Vimeo mini series with frequent collaborator Kate Berlant.

John’s previous credits include Neighbors 2, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, Love, Animals, Broad City, High Maintenance, Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, 30 Rock, Fort Tilden, and Other People. He was a writer for truTV’s Billy on the Street.

Early is an Artist in Residence and Comedy Curator at Ars Nova in New York, where he hosts the monthly variety show Showgasm. He performs a live sketch show Hey™ with Kate Berlant, co-hosts a weekly stand up show at Cake Shop, a full length solo show Literally Me, and has been a part numerous comedy festivals. He was named one of Time Out New York’s Top Ten Comedians of 2015.

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The Hat Sisters

Tim O’Connor and John Michael Gray – known throughout the decades as unflappable The Hat Sisters – were true cornerstones of the Boston LGBT community. They have been tremendous friends of Fenway Health and a visible symbol of hope and joy at countless LGBT events over the years.

Decked out in huge, bright hats and smiles to match, The Sisters brought a sense of playfulness and vibrancy everywhere they went. Fixtures at fundraisers, their years of philanthropy have been truly extraordinary.

In September, we tragically lost one half of The Hat Sisters when John Michael passed away after a battle with lung cancer.

As Bay Windows noted, “In time of great social turbulence, profound illness, isolation and heartbreak in the gay community, John Michael Gray and Tim O’Connor created an extraordinary and heroic presence, by creating flamboyant works of fascinator haberdashery. The Hat Sisters joyously and generously entertained people from all walks of life with their unique and artistic fashion statement. They did not walk away from controversy. They walked towards acceptance, breaking down barriers of prejudice wherever they went.”

During the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic, when the gay community was ravaged by disease and fear, the Hat Sisters embraced all and served as ambassadors for a generation – and a beacon of hope.

It is in this spirit that Fenway Health is pleased to present the Studds Award to Tim O’Connor and honor John Michael Gray’s memory.