Honoring Transgender Awareness Week by celebrating Ballroom culture


Recently, the ballroom scene has been everywhere, from pop stars’ tours to TV shows to Google Arts & Culture, which worked with the Ballroom community to digitize photography collections and launch the community’s Ballroom in Focus archive this year. But Ballroom has been around for decades, giving power and community, while also honoring the Black and Brown LGBTQ+ communities. It was a community I found by accident in 1987, at a time when I was searching for family, and a sense of who I was as a Black trans man.

One day, while sitting in my room talking to my friend, we decided we were going to find people that were like us: LGBTQ+ people who were living their lives according to their terms. We found our way to Washington Square Park in New York City, and accidentally walked down a “runway” between some benches — only to get roasted for our runway walks.

The people we were talking to quickly became our friends — and eventually, they asked us if we wanted to be part of their “house.” I responded, “I live with my grandmother, but I’d love to hang out with y’all!” They laughed and explained the Ballroom community to me. “Houses” were groups of competitors in balls, and members of each group adopted the house’s last name — and even had a house mother and father.

Original Source: https://blog.google/outreach-initiatives/diversity/trans-awareness-week-2023/

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