|Photo by Rebecca Smeyne for the Village Voice|
For those who know...well, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t have a clue, then baby you don’t have a clue and you better get one before it’s too late. This is going to get serious and more fun and drama-filled than the weak of heart can handle. GMHC is, of course, the sponsor, host, and reason to attend and pay the $20 donation. They don’t need promotion, as 4,000 people are already expected. As your Uncle, I am strongly advising you to join them.
What is it exactly? Well, like all things magnificent and undeniable it is hard to define exactly. Even to describe what happened last year might not be sufficient, as this is an evolving world of glamour, love, respect, style, grace and fulfillment. Stars will be discovered; elders will lay down their swords and pass on into legend status. Those who have passed on will be remembered. This is a Ball, a competition between Houses and individuals. It was glimpsed at in Paris Is Burning, exposed to the wider world in Madonna’s “Vogue” and by Malcolm Malcolm MClaren before. The term “Vogueing Houses” has been used by some. It is ancient and yet modern. There will be competitions; for months, the participants have been preparing. The outfits, the moves, the attitude has been honed. They are sharp, ready as Olympic athletes. Categories are complicated, requiring teams to ready for. There are cash prizes, An example of a category is as follows.
Portrait of a Fem Queen: “The Fem Queen Face Divas of the ballroom have always been the true definition of how we view beauty today. Through glamorous gowns, gorgeous hair, flawless make-up and the timeless art form of selling FACE! Tonight, let’s pay tribute to the true Fem Queen Faces that inspire you. Bring forth a look that will give you the right to grace the same stage as them.”
The loss of Paris Dupree will weigh heavy on the Ball’s attendees. The passing of Leo Xtravaganza and Kevin Milan must be mentioned. The Balls are a gathering of thousands of people who have often been outcasts of our so-called society. The Houses came together as a response or defense against rules, traditions, and ignorance that often left individuals without family and friends. The Houses became their families and within this structure, creativity and love blossomed and thrived. the Houses in attendance will include Allure, Aphrodite, Balenciaga, Blahnik, Chanel, Ebony, Epic, Evisu, Herrera, Garcon, Revlon, La Perla, Mugler, Lacroix, Xtrvaganza, Infinisit and Labeija.
Doors open at 8pm and the Ball will go till 4am. Traditionally it will not be done when it is over. I cannot explain this to you any further. I can only say that this is going to be amazing. If you want to know more, visit myballroomlife.com and educate yourself. I will be there and hope to see you.
Steve Lewis's first of two articles was posted on August 17 at blackbookmag.com.