Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Monday, February 1, 2021

Celebrate Black Queer Voices - Feb 1: Paris Is Burning

With regards to documentaries that focus on subjects black and queer - for the longest time Paris Is Burning was the standard.  For a little church boy that grew up in rural Alabama, ballroom culture was something totally foreign to me.   Looking at the weird, interesting and intriguing individuals in this film, it was a culture I was totally fascinated with from afar.  

Learning about the house of LaBeija and the house of St. Laurent and the house of Xtravaganza was thrilling and scary.  These houses were formed because many of the folks in this film were rejected by their regular family.  Rejection from everything I held as valuable was a real fear of mine as a kid. If I told my mom and day I was gay, how would they react.  What would happen if my pastor and my church family found out I was attracted to men. One message I received repeatedly from the pulpit was that "homosexuality is an abomination!"  And as often as I heard classmates negatively talk about anything same sex related, how could I not think that coming out would not only leave to rejection but also to a lifetime of beat downs whenever a teacher wasn't looking.  

Seeing the kids who lost their homes because they were gay confirmed my fears. But seeing the support they support they brought each other (and seeing them vogue) brought me joy.  Fortunately, the film is available to view on YouTube.  If you have never had a chance to view this remarkable film, please watch it below:

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