For this last blog post I wanted to talk about something that we mentioned a little bit in class and was also talked about briefly in one of the readings, Paris Is Burning.  I saw this documentary in one of my gender studies classes last year and was just completely blown away with what I saw.  The balls were so elaborate and everyone was making so much noise and was getting so excited.  It was almost like watching a basketball game.  The costumes were so elaborate and it was obvious how much effort was put into everyone’s outfits and makeup.

I was also amazed by how this ball community was like a family to many of these people.  Some of them had been kicked out of their homes because of their alternative lifestyles and there were members that were considered “mothers” to some of the younger members of the community.  It is a truly sad story because of how unaccepted some of these people felt in society.  But when the ball came everyone was wearing their finest and having an amazing time.  Nothing else mattered.  This was where they felt safe, respected, loved and talented.  One thing that stuck out to me was how there was a competition for who looked like the best businessman.  One of the members talked about how it represented (not a direct quote) “maybe I’m not a rich businessman but I can pass as one just as well.”  It was simply amazing how everyone got so into these balls just like a girl in a beauty pageant.  No offense to pageants, but these balls seem way more fun and don’t tell women, “be skinny!”  (Sorry, had to add that).

                Most of all, it was very clear that these balls created a community, a home and a family for people who might not have anywhere else to go.  It was a sad and fun documentary but it also showed me that home is where your heart is and family is made up of the people who love and support you.  This was a fantastic film.

Megan Taub

Advertisements