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Ball culturethe house systemthe ballroom community and similar terms describe an underground LGBT subculture in the United States in which people "walk" i.

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Some who walk also dance; others compete in drag categories, designed to emulate other genders and social classes. Most participants in ball culture belong to groups known as "houses".

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Houses serve as alternative families, primarily consisting of Black and Latino gaygender nonconforming and transgender youth, and are meant to be safe spaces. Houses exist across the United States and in over Big black gay balls cities, most being in the northeast. Houses that win a lot of trophies and gain recognition, reach a rank of "legendary. Typically house members adopt the name of their house as their last name.

Butch queens, femme queens, butches, and women. Houses "walk" compete against one another in "balls" judged on dance skills voguingcostumes, appearance, and attitude. With fewer spectators, nearly everyone comes to compete; some trophies are 12 feet 3.

Although some competitive walks involve crossdressing Big black gay balls, in other cases the goal is to accentuate a male participant's masculinity or a female participant's femininity as a parody of heterosexuality. As a countercultural phenomenon, Big black gay balls culture is rooted in necessity and defiance. According to findings by Dr. In his essay "Spectacles of Colors", Langston Hughes describes his experience at a drag ball in the s. I once attended as a guest of A'Lelia Walker.

It is the ball where men dress as women and women dress as men. During the height of the New Negro era and the tourist invasion of Harlem, it was fashionable for the intelligentsia and social leaders of both Harlem and the downtown area to occupy boxes at this ball and look down from above at the queerly assorted throng on the dancing floor, males in flowing gowns and feathered headdresses and females in tuxedoes and box-back suits.

In the subsequent decades, drag balls eventually developed the modern, mainstream format we know today. The modern ballroom culture has existed for at least five decades. However, it remains largely underground and unknown for this particular community of Black and Latino queer youth.


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