Saturday, August 24, 2019

Los Angeles is Burning

Over 25 years ago, I saw a documentary Paris is Burning, capturing the very queer ball scene of New York. I was blown away of these stories of queer people of color living their very best lives, finding families when their own biological families may have shunned them.

The ball scene made famous "Vogueing" which Madonna brought to the mainstream. 

The ball scene continues today. It is performance, it is fierceness, it is church. With shows like Ru Paul's Drag Race, one can see how competitive and fabulous drag queens and trans people can be.  

Recently, I went to the Proud Festival in Downtown Los Angeles.  There was an impromptu Vogueing competition, very much like the kind seen in Paris is Burning.  But it wasn't New York is was smack down in downtown Los Angeles.

I'm sure many of these dancers weren't even born when Paris is Burning was made in the early 1990s. This tradition of mostly black and brown queers is wonderful.  In these videos, you can hear me screaming, Yaaaas!

What makes this more incredible is that the ball scene was usually hidden away, kept in secret ball rooms.  But here we are in downtown LA, all are welcome to witness. In the above video, I love how there's an Asian couple watching.

Being there, among free queer people, there was a sense of the divine--that God or God-like forces were present.  It was truly uplifting.

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