PRIDE FACT 11
What is Ball Culture?
The Ballroom Scene (also known as the Ballroom community, Ballroom culture, or just Ballroom) is an African American and Latino underground LGBTQ+ subculture that originated in New York City. Beginning in the late 20th century, Black and Latino drag queens began to organize their own pageants in opposition to racism experienced in established drag queen pageant circuits. While the initial establishment of Ballroom mimicked these drag queen pageants, the inclusion of gay men and trans women would transform the Ballroom scene into what it is today: a multitude of categories that all LGBTQ+ people can participate in. Attendees "walk" these categories for trophies and cash prizes. Most participants in Ballroom belong to groups known as "houses", where chosen families of friends form relationships and communities separate from their families of origin, from which they may be estranged. House of LaBeija: In the 1970s, Black queens Crystal LaBeija and her friend, Lottie, began their own drag ball titled House of LaBeija, kickstarting the current ballroom scene in New York. Crystal and Lottie are credited with founding the first House in ballroom. In 1989, The House of Latex was created as a call to action in the ballroom community to bridge the gap between HIV and STI prevention and ballroom culture.